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Committee of the Regions opinion on amendment to research Framework Programmes

The Committee of the Regions of the European Union, meeting in Brussels on 12-13 June 1996, adopted its opinion on the Commission's proposals to amend the Fourth RTD Framework Programme and the Euratom Framework Programme.

The Commission's proposal would add some ECU 700 mill...
The Committee of the Regions of the European Union, meeting in Brussels on 12-13 June 1996, adopted its opinion on the Commission's proposals to amend the Fourth RTD Framework Programme and the Euratom Framework Programme.

The Commission's proposal would add some ECU 700 million to the programmes' combined budgets for the remaining two years of the programmes. Furthermore, the proposal would concentrate the additional funding on priority areas in line with the research/industry task forces established by the Commission in 1995.

The Committee of the Regions (COR) welcomes the proposed increase in funding, and highlights the importance of the EU's efforts to promote RTD. However, the COR suggests that the increase be even greater, bearing in mind the figure of ECU 700 million was set before the accession of Austria, Finland and Sweden. The COR also points out that EU research spending is still far from the stated goal of six per cent of the overall budget.

As regards priorities, the COR agrees with the Commission's proposal to target the extra funding rather than allocate it on a pro-rata basis to the specific programmes, but is unconvinced that the Commission has provided a clear breakdown of the distribution of the additional funding to programmes within priority areas. The COR attaches greater priority to the vaccines and viral diseases area, and reminds the Commission that, with respect to the educational multimedia task force, education is the responsibility of Member States and regions.

The COR acknowledges that the extra funding may be reduced from the ECU 700 million figure, and in that event, urges that the additional funding be concentrated on a small number of priority areas, in order that the task force approach could be tested thoroughly.

Source: Committee of the Regions
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