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Economic and Social Committee delivers opinion on Fourth Framework Programme

The Economic and Social Committee has delivered an opinion based on the Commission's first working document on the Fourth Framework Programme (COM(92) 406), as the second document (COM(93) 158) was received too late to be referred to in depth at the stage of writing of the opi...
The Economic and Social Committee has delivered an opinion based on the Commission's first working document on the Fourth Framework Programme (COM(92) 406), as the second document (COM(93) 158) was received too late to be referred to in depth at the stage of writing of the opinion. The Committee notes, nonetheless, that the second working document represents a praiseworthy move towards the recommendations delivered in the present opinion and in previous opinions.

The Committee will give its views at a later date in greater detail on the budget for the Fourth Framework Programme and its allocation between the various research actions and themes. It is already clear, however, that the proposed amount does not in any way mean that the funding for the Fourth Programme will be twice that for the Third. For many reasons, the Committee is not convinced that the amounts proposed by the Commission represent a very significant increase in real terms in Community RTD funding.

The Committee also believes that it would be highly desirable to introduce much quicker as well as more flexible procedures for determining Community RTD at the earliest practicable opportunity. According to the Committee, the complex and time-consuming procedures agreed at Maastricht for deciding future RTD Framework Programmes appear likely to delay the entry into action of the activities planned under this programme. Such delays could place Community RTD activities at a serious disadvantage with respect to international competitors. The Committee feels that this is a matter of considerable concern.

Source: Official Journal of the European Communities

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