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RTD in relation to the EU's development cooperation policy

The Development Council of the EU, consisting of the Member States' Ministers for overseas development, adopted a resolution on RTD in relation to the EU's development cooperation policy at its meeting in Luxembourg on 5 June 1997.

The Council stresses the strategic role whic...
The Development Council of the EU, consisting of the Member States' Ministers for overseas development, adopted a resolution on RTD in relation to the EU's development cooperation policy at its meeting in Luxembourg on 5 June 1997.

The Council stresses the strategic role which RTD could play in enhancing sustainable development, and notes the current preparation of the Fifth Framework Programme, which contains a section on international cooperation. The Commission's recent communication on RTD cooperation with developing countries was welcomed, together with its overall strategy of promoting sustainable development and facilitating the integration of developing countries in the global economy.

This strategy, the resolution states, must define a coherent approach, and coordinate the actions undertaken, using the two different instruments available - the international cooperation programme of the RTD Framework Programme, and the development cooperation programmes.

The Council then states the general principles on which cooperation must be based:

- Partnership at both policy and operational levels;
- Differentiation, to take into account the differing needs and circumstances of countries and regions;
- Making development research an integral part of development programmes and policies;
- An integrated approach to problem solving, involving interdisciplinary collaboration, and the association of end users.

A policy dialogue on RTD needs and priorities with developing countries, involving governments, research communities and civil society, needs to be developed, according to the resolution. The Council attaches particular importance to institution building and strengthening the research capacities of developing countries. Specific activities for research cooperation for sustainable development should be incorporated in the Fifth Framework Programme, while an adequate proportion of development resources should be devoted to RTD activities.

Coordination, both within the Commission and between Member States and the Commission, is of major importance to ensure coherence and complementarity. The Council also welcomes the Commission's intention to convene an expert group on development research to assist in this. The Council suggests that this group, composed of representatives of the Member States, should also invite representatives of developing countries to participate whenever appropriate.

Source: Council of the European Union

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