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Specific measures in support of international cooperation: Specific activities covering wider field of research under the Focusing and Integrating Community Research programme 2002-2006.

These activities will complement research within the seven thematic priority areas and represent the particular contribution of the Framework Programme to this opening-up process, which will require a joint effort by the Community and the Member States. Under this heading, the activities in question have the following particular objectives:
- To help European researchers, businesses and research organisations in the EU and the countries associated with the framework programme to have access to knowledge and expertise existing elsewhere in the world.
- To help ensure Europe's strong and coherent participation in the research initiatives conducted at international level.
- To lend support, in the scientific and technological field, to the implementation of the Community's foreign policy and development aid policy.
The general objective of the international cooperation activities carried out under the Framework Programme is to help open up the European Research Area to the rest of the world.
'Focusing and Integrating Community Research' includes seven thematic priorities. Their activities will be open up to participation by third-country researchers and institutions.

The research priorities in this category of activities are defined on the basis of the interests and objectives of the Community's political partnership with the different groups of countries, as well as their particular economic and social needs. They will therefore cover more particularly:
- In the Mediterranean third countries (in support of the development of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership): environment, health and water related issues, and protection of the cultural heritage.
- In Russia and the NIS countries: stabilisation of R&D potential; issues related to changes in the industrial production system; environment and health protection and; various safety aspects.
- In the developing countries: the problems of health and public health; food security safety and; rational exploitation of resources.
The specific measures in support of international cooperation will be carried out in support of the Community's foreign policy and development aid policy.
The specific activities will concern the following three groups of countries:
- the Mediterranean countries, including western Balkans;
- Russia and the New Independent States (NIS) including, in particular, activities carried through the International Association for the Promotion of Cooperation with Scientists from the NIS (INTAS);
- the developing countries.

The specific measures in support of international cooperation will be carried out so that they complement the participation of those countries' researchers and entities in some networks of excellence and integrated projects that are open to them. Depending on the themes and individual countries, the participation in these instruments can take many forms.

The measures will be carried out by means of research, technological development and demonstration projects of a limited scale, by actions to coordinate national efforts and, where necessary, by specific support measures. Cooperation activities with Russia and the CIS will be carried out in particular through the INTAS structure set up jointly by the Community and the Member States. In all three cases, one of the major objectives is to help strengthen, stabilise, develop or adapt the local research systems.

Accordingly, the Framework Programme activities will aim to strengthen coordination and complementarity with activities carried out by means of financial instruments such as,
- the MEDA Programme (the Mediterranean third countries)
- the Tacis Programme (Russia and the NIS countries)
- the EDF (European Development Fund) and the ALA (Latin America/Asia) Fund (the developing countries).
These activities can help to promote the development in those countries of human resources for research, research infrastructures and capabilities relating to innovation and exploitation of results.

The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the specific programme. The Commission draws up a work programme for the implementation of the specific programme, setting out in greater detail the objectives, scientific and technological priorities and the timetable for implementation. The work programme takes account of relevant research activities carried out by the Member States, Associated States and European and international organizations and will be updated where appropriate.

A committee assists the Commission. The Commission reports regularly on the overall progress of the implementation of the specific programme. The report includes information on financial aspects and the use of instruments. The Commission arranges independent monitoring and assessment of the framework programme to be conducted concerning the activities carried out in the fields covered by the specific programme.

In certain cases, when a project receives the maximum level of co-financing authorised under the framework programme or an overall grant, an additional contribution from the Structural Funds can be granted. In the case of participation of entities from the associated candidate countries, an additional contribution from the pre-accession financial instruments can be granted under similar conditions. In the case of participation of organisations from Mediterranean or developing countries, a contribution of the MEDA programme and of the financial instruments of the Community's aid to development can be envisaged.

Fundamental ethical principles must be respected during the implementation of this programme and in the research activities rising from it. Fundamental ethical principles include the principles reflected in the Charter of fundamental rights of the EU and include the following: protection of human dignity and human life, protection of personal data and privacy, as well as animals and the environment in accordance with Community law and relevant international conventions and codes of conduct. The opinions of the European Group of Advisers on the Ethical Implications of Biotechnology (1991-1997) and the opinions of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New technologies (as from 1998) need also to be taken into account.