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Commission adopts Fourth Framework proposal

The Commission of the European Communities, meeting on 16 July 1993, has adopted its proposal for the Fourth Framework Programme of Community research and technological development (1994-1998).

The adoption formalizes the position set out by the Commission in its second worki...
The Commission of the European Communities, meeting on 16 July 1993, has adopted its proposal for the Fourth Framework Programme of Community research and technological development (1994-1998).

The adoption formalizes the position set out by the Commission in its second working document on the Framework Programme (COM (93) 158 of 22 .4.1993) and makes the proposal available in good time for the European Parliament's debate (scheduled to take place during the Session of 21-25 June) and for discussion by the Council at its meeting of 30 June 1993. It is hoped that this finalization of the formal Commission proposal will permit a Council Decision on the Fourth Framework Programme to be reached before the end of the year.

In addition to the areas already defined in the second working document, the proposal adds to and clarifies several points concerning the scientific and technical content of the Framework Programme, the distribution of research effort between the different areas of energy RTD (non-nuclear, fission and fusion) and on the selection criteria for Community research actions. The latter include the relevance of the activities to the EEC common policy and their complementarity to national RTD. Support for very large scale actions is also specified. Finally, the proposal sets out the Commission's budgetary breakdown for the Programme.

The Fourth Framework Programme is to cover the whole of the Community's RTD effort during 1994-1998. In the European context its remit is to develop new knowledge and provoke economic offshoots which will contribute to the implementation of the internal market and to the adaptation of industrial strategies and structures to new conditions on the world market, as well as to the requirements of durable economic growth and a better quality of life in Europe.

To optimize the available resources and channel them to meet these aims, priorities under the Fourth Framework Programme (in line with the conclusions of the Edinburgh Council) will be:

- Better integration of national and Community RTD actions;
- closer cooperation between Community RTD and EUREKA activities;
- greater concentration, in each RTD area, on a reduced number of topics having multisectoral impact (particularly in the domain of industrial technology but also in life sciences);
- improvement of the diffusion of research results;

To these ends, the Framework Programme will aim to:

- Develop links between RTD and education and training by undertaking research (for the first time) into the needs of education and its methodologies ;
- better exploit synergies between research policy and economic and social cohesion policy;
- increase research flexibility to guarantee the ability to react rapidly to new scientific and technological challenges, both at the level of the Framework Programme and within the specific RTD programmes themselves.

The proposed overall budget for 1994-1998 is ECU 13,100 million, This covers the entire range of Community research, technological development and demonstration, broken down under four headings (Activities), as follows:

- First Activity: RTD and demonstration programmes, ECU 10925 million.
- Second Activity: Cooperation with third countries, ECU 790 million.
- Third Activity: Dissemination and application of results, ECU 600 million.
- Fourth Activity: Stimulation and mobility of researchers, ECU 785 million.

The First Activity contains seven themes (compared with 15 in the Third Framework Programme):

- Information and Communications Technologies, ECU 3900 million;
- Industrial Technologies, ECU 1800 million;
- Environment, ECU 970 million;
- Life Sciences and Technologies, ECU 1325 million;
- Energy, ECU 2525 million (of which ECU 1050 million is proposed for renewable energies, ECU 495 million for nuclear safety and ECU 980 for controlled thermonuclear fusion)
- Research for a European transport policy (newly introduced theme), ECU 280 million;
- Targeted socio-economic research (newly introduced theme), ECU 125 million.

The JRC is to receive ECU 1067 million drawn from the First Activity budgets (excluding transport policy and information and communication technologies) and will also participate in the Third Activity to the extent of ECU 70 million.

Source: Commission, Service du Port-Parole, Press release

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