Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Framework programme


Previous programme


Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 115 million

Official Journal Reference

L 359 of 1989-12-08

Legislative Reference

89/625/CEE of 1989-11-20
To provide scientific and technical support for the Community's environmental and other policies by improving the productivity, quality and coordination (reducing overlaps and identifying gaps) of overall research efforts with a view to both the solution of problems in the short term and the formulation of preventive and anticipatory policies for the medium and long term.


Part of the Framework Programme of Research and Technological Development (1987-1991) under subactivity 1.3: "Environment".

STEP is a continuation of the fourth programme in the field of environmental protection (ENVPROT 4C),whereas EPOCH succeeds the third programme on climatology and natural hazards (CLIMAT 3C).


Two programmes:

. Environment and human health;
. Assessment of risks associated with chemicals;
. Atmospheric processes and air quality;
. Water quality;
. Soil and groundwater protection;
. Ecosystem research;
. Protection and conservation of Europe's cultural heritage;
. Technologies for environmental protection.

. Past climates and climate change;
. Climate processes and models;
. Climatic impacts and climate-related hazards;
. Seismic hazards.


The Commission, assisted by the Management and Coordination Advisory Committee (CGC) on the Environment and Climatology, is responsible for implementing the programmes through shared-cost research contracts, concerted actions, coordination, education and training, and studies and assessment.

The programmes are open to universities, research organizations and industrial companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises, individuals, or any combination thereof, established in the Community. Projects must be transnational. In the scientific management of the programmes, the projects are, whenever suitable, increasingly grouped by themes or sub-themes to be managed by a leading contractor, who will coordinate the work of the participating research teams.

In the case of shared-cost contracts, Community participation is generally 50% of total expenditure, but this percentage may vary, according to the nature and stage of development of the research. Where universities and research institutes are involved, the Community may bear up to 100% of the additional expenditure.

The association and involvement of non-Member States, international and national organizations are founded on the criterion of mutual advantage. The association and involvement of European non- Member States are made possible through the COST system and through the bilateral framework agreements with EFTA countries.

During the third year of implementation, the Commission will review the programmes and submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council. It will subsequently submit a final evaluation of the results achieved.
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