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Programme for research, technological development and demonstration on "Confirming the international role of Community research,1998-2002"

The legislation to establish the Fifth Framework Programme, the specific programmes established under it and the rules for participation in the new programme was adopted by the European Council on 22 December 1998.

"Confirming the international role of community research" is the second activity of the Fifth Framework Programme. The second activity is aimed at promoting cooperation on research, technological development and demonstration with third countries and international organizations.

The strategic objectives of the programme are:

- Promoting scientific and technological cooperation between undertakings, organizations and researchers from third countries and from the Community;

- Facilitating access for research centres and undertakings established in the Community to scientific and technological knowledge available outside the Community and useful to the Community's interests;

- Enhancing the position and role of Community research in the scientific and technological arena and promoting a European scientific and technological culture, taking account of the social and cultural needs of the countries with which it is cooperating;

- Preparing for the accession of new Member States by encouraging their full association with the Framework Programme;

- Helping European research players acquire information and gain experience of research capacity, activities and priorities of industrialized third countries and emerging economy countries.

International RTD cooperation will be carried out in two forms in the Fifth Framework Programme: through this international cooperation programme, and through the participation of partners from outside the Union in projects of the other programmes.
To promote scientific and technological cooperation internationally; to reinforce Community capacities in the fields of science and technology; to support the achievement of scientific excellence within the wider international framework; and to contribute to the implementation of the Community's external policy, also with the accession of new EU members in mind.
The programme is based around the following specific activities:

-Cooperation with third countries:

. Pre-accession states;
. NIS and other CEECs not in the pre-accession phase;
. Mediterranean partners;
. Developing countries;
. Emerging economy countries and industrialised countries;

-Training of researchers

- Coordination

. within FP5 and with other Community programmes;
. with COST, EUREKA and international organizations;
. with Member States.
The Commission will be assisted by a programme Committee consisting of Member State representatives and an appointed Chairman from the Commission. The Commission will retain responsibility for establishing a timetable and coordinating arrangements as well as setting out the selection and participation criteria and the arrangements for applying them for each type of action. The Commission will regularly inform the Committee of the overall progress of the implementation of the programme.

Financial contributions to the research and technological development activities, carried out under the programme will be made under different categories of 'indirect RTD' actions carried out by third parties under contracts concluded with the Community.

Participation in the programme is open to any legal entities established in a Member State or in an associated state. Provisions are also made for the participation of legal entities from third countries and any international organization provided that inter alia their participation is in the interests of the Community. The JRC may participate in the indirect activities carried out under this programme.

The Commission will ensure complementarity between indirect actions by grouping them round common objectives. This will guarantee coordination between other specific programmes implementing the Fifth Framework Programme, for example EURATOM, EUREKA, COST and other research-related instruments.

The Commission will evaluate all the proposals received, with assistance from independent expertise, following calls for proposal, on the basis of the specific priorities of the programme and the work programme. It will be the responsibility of project coordinators to send technical and financial progress reports, setting out the results and objectives achieved, to the Commission at regular intervals.

In the same way, the implementation of the programme will be monitored each year by the Commission with the help of independent expertise. In particular, they will examine the appropriateness of the objectives, priorities and financial resources and, if necessary, submit proposals to adopt or supplement the programme.