EUROPEAN RESEARCH AREA
Draft Decision on the Multi-annual Framework Programme 2002-2006 of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities, aimed at contributing towards the creation of the European Research Area; and
Draft Decision on the Multi-annual Framework Programme 2002-2006 of the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) for research and training activities aimed at contributing towards the creation of the European Research Area.
||(a) Article 166 EC; co-decision; qualified majority voting
(b) Article 7 EURATOM; unanimity
||Trade and Industry|
|Basis of consideration:
||Minister's letter 10 July 2001
|Previous Committee Report:
||HC 28-xiii (2000-01), paragraph 14 (2 May 2001)
|Discussed in Council:
||26 June 2001 |
||Cleared (decision reported on 2 May 2001)
21.1 The previous Committee cleared the Commission's
proposals for the next Euratom Framework Programme of Research
for 20022006. However in clearing the proposals, the Committee
requested further information on three points:
- the grievances of the hydrocarbons sector that
the proposed Framework Programme represents a reduction in the
support available to that sector;
- how the Government intends to ensure that potentially
valuable research outside the identified priority areas is not
The Minister's letter
21.2 The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
for Science (Lord Sainsbury of Turville) replied in his letter
of 10 July 2001. As regards the first point, the Minister says:
"The Government's policy
has been to argue that there should be a greater focus in the
next Framework Programme, so that sufficient funds can be brought
to bear in areas which are key to the EU's global competitiveness.
This policy has received general endorsement from all Member States,
notably at the EU Research Council meeting on 26 June 2001. It
is an unavoidable consequence of this greater focus that some
areas of research will be discontinued or will not receive the
same levels of support in the next Framework Programme as they
did in the last.
"The hydrocarbons sector has been under increasing
pressure in successive programmes, especially as the focus has
shifted from security of supply to environmental matters. We must
recognise that there is little support among other Member States
for making research in support of the hydrocarbons sector a priority.
"A possibility does however remain for the hydrocarbons
sector to receive funding under the third part of the Commission
proposal, entitled 'Strengthening the foundations of the European
Research Area.' Funding under this heading is intended to increase
EUwide coordination and networking between national
research activities; it is not limited to priority areas and is
entirely 'bottomup' in conception."
21.3 In response to the second point, the Minister
"In addition to the
funds available for cooperation between national programmes,
the Commission proposes to make provision for research to meet
emerging scientific and technological needs, outside of the priority
thematic areas, under the socalled '8th priority' ('Anticipating
the EU's scientific and technological needs')."
21.4 As regards antifraud arrangements, the
"Details of antifraud
measures have now been published in the Commission proposals for
the specific programmes, which will implement the Framework Programme.
As you suggested, we will therefore address this issue in the
Explanatory Memorandum that is currently being prepared on the
21.5 As noted above, the previous Committee cleared
the documents. We have no further questions.