Community RTD strategy after Maastricht
On the initiative of Vice-President Pandolfi, a Commission communication entitled "Research after Maastricht: An assessment, a strategy" (SEC(92) 682 of 7.4.1992) sets out the Commission's plans to redirect Community RTD policy in the light of decisions taken at the Maastricht Summit and on the basis of an evaluation of the results of RTD activities to date. The new strategy, aiming to combat the fall in competitiveness shown by European industry since the mid-1980s, is based on three main guiding principles: - Redirecting research activities: A revision of traditional research actions to take account of a changing environment plus the introduction of "priority technology projects" more directly linked to key generic technologies on which European industrial competitiveness depends (these projects are to be submitted directly by companies). Greater cooperation between producers and users will be sought, from the outset, within the projects themselves. The Community will aim to internationalize research efforts to a greater extent, with increased community involvement in "big science" projects such as thermonuclear fusion, the human genome and global change; - Increasing RTD resources: The research budget has been increased from 2.6% of the 1988 Community budget to 3.8% in 1992. The Commission's proposal on the Community financial perspective for 1993-1997 puts forward further increases in Community RTD resources (from ECU 2.4 billion in 1992 to ECU 4.2 billion in 1997). However, these funds remain limited, representing less than 4% of the total financial resources allocated to RTD in the Member States. It is therefore essential to coordinate national and Community RTD policies to ensure they are mutually consistent; - Strengthening the programmes: During 1992, and in the light of the debate launched in the European Parliament and the Council on the basis of the communication, the Commission will submit key proposals to implement the new strategy. These will include the proposal for the fourth RTD Framework Programme (1994-1998) plus a proposal for additional funding for the third Framework Programme during 1993/1994. Given the innovative provisions of the Maastricht treaty, in particular the cumbersome legislative procedure established, the Commission proposes that interinstitutional conciliation should take place between the three institutions (Commission, European Parliament, Council) to resolve procedural problems in advance.