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Commission proposes to negotiate EC/Russia Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement

The European Commission formally requested, on 17 July 1997, the Council's authorization to open negotiations on an agreement for scientific and technological cooperation between the Community and the Russian Federation.

The request follows discussions between the Commission ...
The European Commission formally requested, on 17 July 1997, the Council's authorization to open negotiations on an agreement for scientific and technological cooperation between the Community and the Russian Federation.

The request follows discussions between the Commission and the Russian authorities since relations in the field were formalized by the signature of a joint declaration, on 21 October 1996, by Commissioner Edith Cresson, responsible for research, and Mr. Vladimir Fortov, then President of the Russian State Committee on Science and Technology. The declaration established a Joint Scientific and Technology Committee to provide a forum for discussion, the first meeting of which was held in January 1997.

The prospect of an Agreement takes account of the common ground and existing cooperation between Russia and the Community in the field of science and technology. For instance, Russian scientists participate in projects funded by the INCO-COPERNICUS programme, and in projects funded by INTAS (the International Association for the Promotion of Cooperation with Scientists from the New Independent States) which is part-funded by the Community. The Community also funds activities in the field of science and technology through the TACIS technical assistance programme, including the International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC) which aims to provide alternative research activities for former Soviet weapons researchers. In total, Community funding for research activities involving Russia between 1993 and mid-1997 amounts to around ECU 100 million, whilst some 25,000 Russian scientists have benefited from Community funding.

The Commission is proposing to negotiate a mutual cooperation agreement with Russia which would allow Russian organizations to participate in Community research programmes (except in nuclear research fields), and Community organizations to participate in equivalent Russian programmes. The agreement would not involve any transfer of funds, with each party financing the participation of its organizations in the other party's programmes. The agreement would also provide for the application of rules on intellectual property rights in respect of the products of Russian participation in Community programmes and Community participation in Russian research programmes.

Once given authorization by the Council, the Commission would be responsible for negotiating with Russia. Following the conclusion of these negotiations, the agreement would then have to be ratified by both parties before entering into force. The Commission hopes that the agreement would be in place at an early stage in the Fifth Framework Programme.

Source: European Commission, DG XII

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