Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme


Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 5 396 million

Official Journal Reference

L 302 of 1987-10-24

Legislative Reference

87/516/Euratom, CEE of 1987-09-28
To strengthen the international competitiveness of high technological value-added sectors of Community industry and speed up the establishment, under the Single European Act, of a European Research and Technology Community, thereby meeting the Community's market goals for 1992.


The Community's research and technological development (RTD) policy has a number of legal bases in the three Community Treaties: the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty, the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) Treaty, and the European Economic Community (EEC) Treaty. Community coal and steel research is based on Article 55 of the ECSC Treaty, which promotes technical and scientific research intended to increase efficiency and improve safety in the coal and steel industries. The Euratom Treaty provides an explicit legal base for Community research on nuclear energy. The Community's action in other scientific and technological fields was based until 1987 on the very general Article 235 of the EEC Treaty (with the exception of research in agriculture and fisheries, which was based on Article 41). The Single European Act, which entered into force in 1987, gave the Community new formal powers in the field of research and technology.

The second Framework programme served as a tool for programming the medium-term activity of the Community in the area of research and technological development (RTD) during the period 1987-1991, laying down the scientific and technical objectives of the specific activities envisaged, defining their respective priorities, setting out their main lines, estimating the necessary amount of funding and drawing up detailed rules for financial participation by the Community.

Autonomous activities in the coal and steel sectors, not financed from the general budget of the European Communities, continued to be implemented outside the Framework programme under the ECSC Treaty.


- Quality of life (ECU 375 million):
. Health (ECU 80 million);
. Radiation protection (ECU 34 million);
. Environment ECU 261 million);

- Towards a large market and an information and communications society (ECU 2275 million):
. Information technologies (ECU 1600 million);
. Telecommunications (ECU 550 million);
. New services of common interest, including transport (ECU 125 million);

- Modernization of industrial sectors (ECU 845 million):
. Science and technology for manufacturing industry (ECU 400 million);
. Science and technology of advanced materials (ECU 220 million);
. Raw materials and recycling (ECU 45 million);
. Technical standards, measurements methods and reference materials (ECU 180 million);

- Exploitation and optimum use of biological resources (ECU 280 million):
. Biotechnology (ECU 120 million);
. Agro-industrial technologies (ECU 105 million);
. Competitiveness of agriculture and management of agricultural resources (ECU 55 million);

- Energy (ECU 1173 million):
. Fission: nuclear safety (ECU 440 million);
. Controlled thermonuclear fusion (ECU 611 million);
. Non-nuclear energies and rational use of energy (ECU 112 million);

- Science and technology for development (ECU 80 million);

- Exploitation of the sea bed and use of marine resources (ECU 80 million):
. Marine science and technology (ECU 50 million);
. Fisheries (ECU 30 million);

- Improvement of European S/T cooperation (ECU 288 million):
. Stimulation, enhancement and use of human resources (ECU 180 million);
. Use of major installations (ECU 30 million);
. Forecasting and assessment and other back-up measures, including statistics (ECU 23 million);
. Dissemination and utilization of S/T research results (ECU 55 million).


The Commission was responsible for implementing the programme by means of specific programmes adopted by the Council on the basis of proposals submitted by the Commission and designed to achieve one or more specific scientific and technical objectives.

The research took the form of "in-house" research carried out by the Joint Research Centre (hitherto called "direct action"), shared-cost research carried out by outside organizations (hitherto called "indirect action"), coordinated research (hitherto called "concerted action"), and "joint undertaking" research such as the Joint European Torus (JET) Joint Undertaking within the Fusion programme. The latter allowed complementary programmes to be implemented in which only interested Member States took part. Bursaries were made available in some programmes to promote the training and mobility of scientific personnel.
In general, Community RTD actions were selected on the basis of scientific and technical objectives, their scientific and technical quality and their contribution to the definition or implementation of Community policies. Community action was considered to be justified in the following cases:
- Research which contributed to the strengthening of economic and social cohesion in the Community and the promotion of its overall harmonious development, while being consistent with the pursuit of scientific and technical quality;
- Research on a very large scale for which individual Member States could not, or could only with difficulty, provide the necessary finance and personnel;
- Research, the joint execution of which would offer obvious financial benefits, even after taking account of the extra costs inherent in international cooperation;
- Research complementary to work carried out at national level and relating to problems whose solution required research on a large scale, particularly geographical;
- Research which contributed to the achievement of the common market and to the unification the European scientific and technical area, and research leading, where needed, to the establishment of uniform norms and standards.

Suitable parts of the research activities were integrated in the COST framework. Cooperation was also established with relevant EUREKA projects.

During the third year of execution the Commission reviewed the programme, examining, in particular, whether the objectives, priorities, activities envisaged and financial resources were still appropriate. In the light of this review, it submitted to the Council and the European Parliament a proposal for a third programme. It submitted an evaluation of the specific programmes of the second Framework programme to the Council in 1992, as required by Article 5 of the Decision adopting the third Framework programme.
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