Select Committee on European Union Forty-Ninth Report

RESEARCH (13366/02)

Letter from the Chairman to The Lord Sainsbury of Turville, Minister of Science and Innovation, Department of Trade and Industry

  Thank you for your Explanatory Memorandum dated 12 November which Sub-Committee B considered at its meeting on 2 December.

  We are in agreement with the overall objectives of the European Research Area (ERA) which we see as an important element in the parcel of reforms agreed at Lisbon in March 2000. Clearly, there is a long way to go. R&D spending in the EU is currently around 1.9 per cent of GDP. The objective endorsed by the Sixth Framework Programme is to push this to 3 per cent of GDP by 2010. This is a major programme, and we wish it well.

  However, we share your concerns about the way in which the objectives are achieved. We would certainly be worried by any lack of flexibility on the part of the Commission.

  The Scrutiny reserve on this document is lifted.

4 December 2002

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