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Commission presents more details of scientific and technological content of Fifth Framework Programme

The European Commission adopted, on 5 November 1997, a working document on the specific programmes under the Fifth RTD Framework Programme. The document contains the most detailed information so far on the proposed thematic programmes' scientific and technological content, as ...
The European Commission adopted, on 5 November 1997, a working document on the specific programmes under the Fifth RTD Framework Programme. The document contains the most detailed information so far on the proposed thematic programmes' scientific and technological content, as well as on the three horizontal programmes. In addition it outlines in greater detail the Commission's proposals in respect of the management methods to be used for the Programme.

The working paper has been published in order to provide more detail on the scientific and technological content of the specific programmes in order to facilitate the conclusion of the debate on the Fifth Framework Programme proposal. It will also serve to speed up the process of adopting the specific programmes once the Framework Programme is adopted. For each of the three thematic programmes, it gives detailed research objectives: for the key actions, generic research activities, and support for research infrastructures. It should be noted, however, that first indications from the Council and Parliament suggest that the Commission's proposed structure of three thematic programmes, incorporating 16 key actions, may be altered to some extent during the legislative process.

In respect of the management and implementation of the Programme, the Commission aims to develop more efficient and flexible methods and procedures, and for its part is committed to greater transparency and speed of execution. The Programme Committees, composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by the Commission, should concentrate on general aspects of programme implementation. In particular, they would no longer be consulted systematically on the selection of projects to be funded, but be informed fully afterwards.

The day-to-day management would be the responsibility of the Commission, with the main means of implementing the programmes continuing to be open calls for proposals and evaluations conducted by independent experts. New ways of targeting and organizing calls could be introduced in the context of the key actions, and a "one-stop shop" established to facilitate SMEs access to the programmes. Within the Commission, a collegial type of coordination structure would be established to manage the range of activities conducted by different Directorates-General, in particular to ensure harmonization and consistency of approaches. The Commission also plans to establish high level "Advisory Groups" for key actions or groups of key actions. These would be composed of a small number of eminent representatives of the world of research and industry, appointed by the Commission in a personal capacity.

The paper concludes by reiterating the need for urgent action, calling on the Council and Parliament to intensify and rapidly conclude their discussions on the Fifth Framework Programme proposal. The Commission regards it as essential that all the political decisions concerning the Framework Programme are taken before the end of 1998.

Source: European Commission, DG XII

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