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Specific research, technological development and demonstration programme in the field of cooperation with third countries and international organizations, 1994-1998

This specific programme constitutes the Second Activity of the Fourth Framework Programme, "Cooperation with third countries and international organizations".

International S&T cooperation conducted by the Community will be coordinated both centrally in this programme and through provisions in the other specific programmes enabling European third countries, not covered by the EEA, to participate in their research activities.

In addition, the programme will incorporate non-nuclear cooperation activities and the cooperation activities developed in earlier Framework Programmes, as well as the APAS.

The envisaged activities will aim at strengthening international cooperation on RTD with third countries so as to enhance the effectiveness of Community RTD, to improve the Community's scientific and technological base and to support the implementation of other Community policies.

Efforts are also made to step up the coordination of S&T cooperation between the Member States and third countries, in order to avoid duplication of effort and to better define the Community's areas of competence on the basis of the subsidiarity principle.

Cooperation is based on the principle of mutual benefit. In addition to the direct or short-term advantage gained during the life of the action, projects must also demonstrate long-term or indirect advantages to the Community.

Closer synergy between EUREKA activities and the Community's RTD Framework Programme will be based on a pragmatic case-by-case approach. This could include the pre-competitive parts of EUREKA projects being dealt with under the Framework Programme, and the results of Community RTD projects being incorporated into EUREKA projects, which are located closer to the market.

In order to give research a European dimension, activities within the framework of COST will promote cooperation between research institutes and organizations of 25 European countries (the 12 EU Member States and 13 third countries contributing financially to the operation). Cooperation will cover a wide range of sectors including information technology, transport, oceanography, materials, environment, meteorology, and agriculture/biotechnology.

Links with European and international scientific organizations, such as the ESF, CERN, ESA, EMBL and ESO will be stepped up so as to facilitate mutual involvement in projects of common interest. The Member States will also be encouraged to coordinate their positions more closely within international political organizations, such as the UN, FAO, WHO, OECD, ITU etc.

Specific measures are included to strengthen cooperation with non-European industrialized third countries. This multilateral cooperation and consultation is a prerequisite to "megascience" research projects such as Fusion, the human genome and global change, and provides the basis for participation within such fora as the OECD or multilateral projects such as the "Human Frontier Programme". Provisions are also made for promoting research linked to the preparation of international standards.

Cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and with the independent states of the former Soviet Union will cover specific research topics related to situations of critical importance in these countries. Priority will be given to issues and topics affecting groups of countries.

The activities covered by the programme will be closely coordinated with the other related Community initiatives and arrangements with third countries, such as the Lomé Convention, PHARE, TACIS and the new Mediterranean programme.

Cooperation within the International Association for Cooperation with Scientists from the new Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (INTAS) will continue on condition that a new agreement is reached by its members when the pilot phase ends at the end of 1994. The Commission will submit a proposal to the Council concerning the future of this association and the geographical areas and themes to be covered.

It is envisaged that the necessary modifications will be made to the EEA Agreement, in order to enable the six EFTA members of the EEA to participate in the non-nuclear specific programmes of the Fourth Framework Programme, on the same basis as under the Third Framework Programmme.
To strengthen the Community's scientific and technological capability, to support the implementation of Community policies vis-a-vis third countries and, to contribute to solving regional and global problems.
Three areas:

- Scientific and technical cooperation in Europe:
. Cooperation with other fora for European scientific and technical cooperation:
To boost the coherence and overall cost-effectiveness of European research, while taking full account of national programmes and activities within the European Economic Area, via COST, EUREKA and links with European international organizations and with relevant bodies at world level;

. Cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the new independent states of the former Soviet Union:
To help safeguard the scientific and technological potential of these countries and to redirect research towards social needs, in order to improve their production systems and to improve the quality of life;

- Cooperation with non-European industrialized countries:
To boost the Community's scientific and technological capability by facilitating access to know-how developed by industrialized third countries;

- Scientific and technological cooperation with the developing countries:
To enable developing countries to be associated with the development of the knowledge and innovative technologies needed to solve the problems arising from their own sustainable economic development. Research activities are targeted on three interrelated sectors of major importance:
. The sustainable management and use of renewable natural resources;
. Improvement of agricultural production within this framework of sustainable management of renewable resources;
. Health and population, focusing on the control of predominant diseases, improving health-care systems and the impact of demographic change and urbanization on both health and the environment.
The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme, assisted by a committee of an advisory nature consisting of representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission. The Commission is further responsible for drawing up an initial work programme, setting out the detailed objectives of the action, the stages in the programme's implementation and the corresponding financial arrangements.

For the purposes of cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the new independent states of the former Soviet Union and developing countries, the Commission will issue calls for proposals for projects on the basis of the work programme. Cooperation may also be carried out through other structures. The Commission shall take all initiatives that may be necessary to implement the objectives of the programme in other geographical regions.

Financial support for participation in the programme's activities is open to all legal entities regularly carrying out RTD in the Community or in a third country associated, by means of a bilateral agreement with the Community, in the implementation of the relevant programme.

Participation without financial support is open to legal entities in third countries which have concluded a scientific and technical cooperation agreement with the Community relating to the activities covered by the programme, to legal entities established in a European country and to international research organizations, providing that advantages will accrue to the Community as a result of their involvement.

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) may participate in the indirect activities covered by the programme. The participation of European international organizations may be financed on the same basis as that for Community organizations in duly specified areas. However, the programme cannot cover the cost of participation of third countries, in particular associated countries, to whom participation in the specific programmes of the Framework Programme are open.

The programme is mainly implemented through shared-cost activities, concerted actions, specific measures, and various preparatory, accompanying and support measures.

Shared-cost RTD projects will normally qualify for a Community contribution of up to 50% of the overall costs, although the Community's financial contribution to the partners from Central and Eastern European countries, the states of the former Soviet Union and Third World developing countries may exceed this. Other shared-cost activities, such as the establishment of thematic networks, training, feasibility awards or accompanying measures, may qualify for up to 100% of the additional costs or, of the total cost of the measure. Support is also provided for financing the infrastructure or installations necessary for the implementation of coordinated actions.

Concerted activities consist mainly of coordinating RTD projects already funded by public or private organizations, particularly with the aid of concertation networks. Concerted activities may also include the requisite coordination of thematic networks bringing together manufacturers, users and research organizations to work on a particular project.

Specific measures such as actions which support the Community's external policies and measures to provide tools for general use in research organizations may receive up to 100% funding from the Community.

Community support is also available for various preparatory, accompanying and support measures. These will include the systematic monitoring of developments in the science and technology policies of third countries and of the socio-economic conditions of international cooperation. The collection of data and information will be closely coordinated with related activities to be carried under the specific programme on targeted socio-economic research.

The programme budget is divided between the different areas as follows: Cooperation with other fora for scientific and technical cooperation in Europe ECU 46 million; Cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the new independent states of the former Soviet Union ECU 232 million; Cooperation with non-European industrialized third countries ECU 30 million; Cooperation with the developing countries ECU 40 million.

This breakdown does not exclude the possibility that projects may fall under several areas.

These figures include an allocation equivalent to 10 for staff and administrative expenditure. A sum of ECU 4 million is earmarked for the dissemination, promotion and utilization of the results of the programme. This will be closely coordinated with the Third Activity of the Fourth Framework Programme "Dissemination and exploitation of results".

The budget allocated to the programme may increase before the end of 1996, in accordance with the Decision establishing the Fourth Framework Programme.

The Commission will continuously review the implementation of the programme to ensure that its objectives, priorities and financial resources remain appropriate. On the basis of this review process it shall, where appropriate, submit proposals to adapt or supplement the programme. In addition, regular assessments of the activities covered by the specific programme will be conducted by independent experts who, upon its completion, will carry out a final evaluation of the results achieved compared to initial objectives. A report of this final evaluation will be communicated to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee.