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We must let the FP5 keep its promises, says Cresson

The Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) represents an important step towards the implementation of a new approach for European research, which is directly focused on the needs of businesses and citizens in an overall European perspective, Commissioner Edith Cresson said at the sta...
The Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) represents an important step towards the implementation of a new approach for European research, which is directly focused on the needs of businesses and citizens in an overall European perspective, Commissioner Edith Cresson said at the start of her opening speech at the Essen conference, which officially launched FP5.

Commissioner Cresson, responsible for research and innovation, thanked all the people who had been involved in making FP5 possible.

She stressed the importance of looking at the past and the present as well as into the future - the past representing the previous FP4 programme and the future looking at the future prospects for European research.

"We must let FP5 keep its promises and ensure its implementation as quickly as possible", said Commissioner Cresson. "This is the priority for the Commission as well as the German Presidency."

She reflected on three main points, the first being the context in which the FP5 will be implemented, of which different aspects are all challenges to the European research.

Secondly, she talked about the way the FP5 will respond to these challenges and pointed out that 15 billion euro, which represents a 4.6 % increase in comparison with FP4, will be invested in FP5. She also highlighted the importance of the new approach to the different programmes, which abandons the traditional areas and disciplines and focuses on the big problem areas that the European Union faces.

Her last point looked at three dimensions of European research, which will be highlighted under FP5, the first of which was Women and Science. Commissioner Cresson pointed out the importance of getting women into scientific research and referred to a Commission Communication on the subject.

The second dimension looked at the ethical issues of research, such as cloning and genetically modified organisms. She emphasised the importance of a common European approach on these ethical issues.

Thirdly, she talked about the mid-term prospects for research in Europe. What shape will European research take in the light of the enlargement of Europe?, she asked, and how can we maintain coherence within the European Union when the number of Member States increases? These questions will be discussed during the Research Council meeting in May.

Commissioner Cresson also put the FP5 in a wider prospective and looked at two or three major developments, such as Agenda 2000, which will mean institutional reform in order to make the EU function with 25 Member States.

Another issue was the social challenges in Europe, linked to unemployment.

Thirdly, Commissioner Cresson spoke about the pressure, which society puts on the scientist.

"Society expects concrete progress in fields, such as health, environment, transport, from science and technology," she said.

Commissioner Cresson concluded her speech by saying: "The Fifth Framework Programme is in itself a starting point for a major European enterprise for the beginning of the twenty-first century."

Source: Rapid Text File

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