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Greek position paper on Fifth RTD Framework Programme

The Greek government's position paper on the Fifth RTD Framework Programme, submitted to the Commission as part of the consultation process in the run-up to the formal proposal for the Programme, outlines Greece's views on the form and content of the new Programme.

The Greek ...
The Greek government's position paper on the Fifth RTD Framework Programme, submitted to the Commission as part of the consultation process in the run-up to the formal proposal for the Programme, outlines Greece's views on the form and content of the new Programme.

The Greek paper calls for more emphasis to be placed on supporting activities which will have a positive impact on employment and quality of life, although this should not be at the expense of Europe's existing strengths in research and development. The existing means of selecting projects for support, through open calls, should be maintained as the basis of the Programme, with additional emphasis on cohesion, to ensure that researchers from outlying areas are not disadvantaged.

The selection of priorities for research efforts should be based on real needs, with the aim of supplementing or complementing research undertaken at national or sub-national level. The coordination efforts supported by the Programme, through concertation meetings of national researchers and the work of the programme committees, allows efficient coordination of the work done in particular fields, according to the Greek paper, and should be maintained.

The Greek government argues against introducing too much flexibility into the Programme, suggesting that reserve funding might be allocated in haste, with the consequences of such allocations not fully thought through. The paper notes that a Programme too loosely structured in this way might damage the credibility of European research, by jeopardising the long-term perspective of on-going research areas. The Greek paper suggests that there is sufficient flexibility in the existing structure of the Framework Programme, with decisions on topics for research being made at lower levels, within the specific programmes.

With regard to the structure of the Programme, the Greek paper suggests five thematic programmes, covering the following topics:

- Networks: information, telecommunications, telematics, transport;
- Life sciences: agriculture, health, biotechnology, socio-economic;
- Energy: non-nuclear, fission, fusion;
- Environment: natural disasters, pollution, water, climate, marine sciences and technologies;
- Industrial technologies: industrial and materials technologies, measuring, testing and standardization.

These thematic programmes would be supported by four horizontal programmes, addressing technology development and demonstration; dissemination, innovation and technical assistance to SMEs; international cooperation; and basic research, training and mobility. The paper calls for maximum effort to be given to the innovation action, arguing that Europe's greatest weakness is in the transformation of research results into positive economic impact.

The funding and management procedures for the Programme should maintain their European character, and should avoid becoming a replication of national priorities. Community funding should not be given directly to EUREKA projects, other than to those which have gone through the usual application procedures, according to the paper.

Finally, the Greek paper calls for a more uniform evaluation procedure, as well as the establishment of a procedure for defining priorities for each research area.

Source: CORDIS Information Collection Unit
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