European RTD Insight British Council on-line - UKRO - European RTD by dfsiopmhy6


									                               UKRO - European RTD Insight
                                  British Council on-line bulletin
                       News on EU Research Policy and Programmes

Issue: EI 00:01 – 1 August 2000


EU POLICY ..................................................................................................... 2
     France assumes Presidency................................................................ 2
     EU governance under review............................................................... 3
     Co-decision procedure success ........................................................... 3
     Europe Direct information service ........................................................ 4
     One EU-wide patent proposed............................................................. 4
     Copyright boost for eEurope ................................................................ 4
     EU Internet address backed ................................................................ 5
     Telecom frequencies secured .............................................................. 5
     Commission proposes decision on radio spectrum .............................. 6
     Closer collaboration between WHO and Commission.......................... 6
     Commission initiative on GMO approval process ................................. 7
     Commission proposes new food safety hygiene rules.......................... 8
     Ethics committee on research into human stem cells........................... 8
     New structure for DG SANCO.............................................................. 8
     Commissioner calls for measures to conserve deep water species ..... 9
     Improved access to environmental information .................................. 10
     New EU regulation on ozone depleting substances ........................... 10
     Commission plans for a pollution register .......................................... 10
     European Parliament wants action on endocrine disrupters............... 11
     Commission signs protocol on landmines .......................................... 11
     Funds for UK regions......................................................................... 12
     Review Euro changeover plans ......................................................... 12
     Eurosceptic mantras debunked.......................................................... 13

RESEARCH NEWS....................................................................................... 13
     EU leaders push for Lisbon strategy .................................................. 13
     Research Council - one step closer to European Research Area....... 14
     More potential for genome research in FP5? ..................................... 15
     New rules for Eureka ......................................................................... 15
     Legal protection of biotechnological inventions FAQ.......................... 15
     Achilleas Mitsos new Director-General for Research ......................... 16
     Research networks gear up ............................................................... 16
     Successful FAIR Projects .................................................................. 17
     EU research project makes agro-food breakthrough.......................... 17
     No more corked wine ......................................................................... 17
     Harnessing the energy of sea waves ................................................. 18

EDUCATION, TRAINING AND CULTURE .................................................... 18
     EU-China Scholarship 2000............................................................... 18
     European Year of Languages approved ............................................ 19
          Youth Programme update.................................................................. 19
          European Parliament calls for more funding for MEDIA Programmes 20
          UK and EU spending on education .................................................... 20
          European on-line forum on distance education launched................... 20

EXTERNAL COLLABORATION .................................................................... 21
     EU-ACP Cotonou Agreement ............................................................ 21
     Argentina supports National Participants in FP5 ................................ 21
     EU and Turkey open contacts............................................................ 21
     EU-Israel Agreement officially enters into force ................................. 22
     Aviation co-operation with India ......................................................... 22

EVENTS and AWARDS ................................................................................ 23
     Conference on future training and mobility of researchers ................. 23
     Information Society conference.......................................................... 23
     Major conference on brain research................................................... 24
     Conference on the role of risk analysis in the EU............................... 24

NEW PUBLICATIONS and ON-LINE RESOURCES ..................................... 24
     New interface between life sciences and socio-economics ................ 24
     New publications from the Quality of Life Programme........................ 25
     New pages for Energy Framework Programme ................................. 25
     CORDIS ............................................................................................ 26
     EUR-LEX (Official Journal C and L) ................................................... 26
     EUROPA ........................................................................................... 26
     RAPID ............................................................................................... 26

GLOSSARY .................................................................................................. 27



France assumes Presidency

On 1 July France took over the Presidency of the Council of the EU from
Portugal for a six-month period. Sweden will follow France in the first half of
2001. The work of the Presidency will be guided by three objectives:
reconciling economic modernisation with reinforcement of the European social
model; forging closer relations between Europe and its citizens; and preparing
for enlargement and strengthening Europe's place in the world.

The French Council Presidency Research and Technology Information Service
is also now available. The service will provide users with a comprehensive
view of the key research and technology activities throughout the six-month
duration of the French Council Presidency (July to December 2000). A diary
of events and conferences will keep users up-to-date with the key moves of
the Presidency. A window on French research and technology is provided
with a description of France's objectives and strategies regarding research,
technology and innovation, as well as information on the financing of research,

available funds, innovation support measures, internationalisation and key

The Presidency web site address is:
Research and Technology Information Service is available at:

EU governance under review

Decentralising responsibility and modernising the EU's administrative and
governmental processes will form the heart of a White Paper next year. The
Union, particularly as new Member States join, is becoming too large to run
from Brussels; what is needed is for national, regional and local government to
take on greater responsibility in EU affairs, the Cion believes. This process
should also link together the different level of government, involve checks and
balances needed for democratic decision-making, and encourage people to
participate more widely. Efforts to modernise how the EU operates are
needed to review policies and improve consistency between them. The Cion
expects to publish the White Paper on governance by summer 2001. It was
signalled in February when Cion President Romano Prodi presented his
strategic objectives for 2000-2005 to the European Parliament.

Commission press release IP/00/547 of 30/5/00 available at:

Co-decision procedure success

The Cion is delighted at the effectiveness of the co-decision procedure, which
was greatly extended with the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam on 1
May 1999. In many areas, including research, vocational training and the
environment, the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam has transformed
the European Parliament into a true joint legislator, working together with the
European Council. This procedure allows for common positions adopted by
the European Council by qualified majority to be approved, rejected or
amended by Parliament. Where there is failure to reach an agreement, a
Conciliation Committee attempts to reconcile the two institutions' points of
view and approve a joint text. If there is no agreement, the proposed act shall
be deemed not to have been adopted.

The Cion is pleased that the three institutions are developing a pro-active
approach with regard to the early identification of sensitive dossiers or items.
This makes it far easier to reconcile points of view at a second reading or,
where necessary, during the conciliation procedure.

Commission Press Release IP/00/631 of 16/6/00 available at:

Europe Direct information service

An information service to help people make use of their rights under EU law
and access information on all aspects of the Union's work was launched by
Commissioner Viviane Reding. A free helpline, e-mail responses and a
signposting service to expert sources of advice are all available through
Europe Direct. A call centre has operators covering all 11 official languages of
the EU and is initially expected to handle around 25,000 queries a month.
Reding said the service would help to bridge the gap between people's desire
to find out more information and the wealth of help and advice that is available.
 It would also enable the Cion to gather useful feedback about people's
interests and concerns, to aid the development of future policy.

FURTHER INFORMATION: The freephone number for Europe Direct is 0800
581591 (in the UK), e-mail and web site
Commission press release IP/00/525 of 25/5/00 available at:

One EU-wide patent proposed

Inventors could obtain a single EU-wide patent, cutting costs and encouraging
innovation, under a Regulation proposed by the Cion. Not only would this
make it cheaper to patent a discovery, it would also provide a clearer legal
framework in case of disputes.

Although the European Patent Office (EPO), set up in 1973, grants patents,
these are essentially a collection of national patents. Each Member State can
require an EPO patent to be translated into its official language to be legally
valid in its territory, with a corresponding cost burden. EPO patents typically
cost five times those of the USA and three times those of Japan. Moreover,
disputes are heard by national courts — which in principle could mean one
patent leading to 15 different legal proceedings. These factors are a significant
barrier to research, development and innovation in the EU. To overcome this,
the proposal provides, first, for the EU-wide patent to be granted and
published in English, French or German, with claims, outlining its scope, in the
other two. (In practice, English is already the universal language for patents,
and translations are rarely consulted.) Secondly, a tribunal system within the
European Court of Justice would handle disputes. The EU patent would
operate alongside the existing national and European systems, and applicants
could choose whichever type suited best.

Commission press release IP/00/714 of 5/7/00 available at:

Copyright boost for eEurope

Europe's creative industries received a boost with agreement on a copyright
Directive to protect music, films and other works distributed across the Internet
and other electronic networks.

The Directive strikes a balance between different interests involved. To
benefit from the Information Society, creative artists and copyright-based
industries need protection for their intellectual property rights. At the same
time, that had to be weighed against the interests of network operators,
consumers, the education sector and others, Commissioner Bolkestein
explained. The Directive will make cross-border trade in copyright-protected
goods and services easier. It allows Member States to apply any specified
exceptions to restrictions on copying, with provision for copyright holders to
receive fair compensation. Internet service providers and others who make
'technical copies' to put material on the Internet are exempted, too, subject to
conditions. Teachers and libraries should be able to make copies of material
for education and research, where agreed by copyright-holders, who may
protect their works by technical means. Member States can decide how to
handle private home copying, according to their legal traditions and practices.

The European Council is likely to adopt a common position and the Directive
will then go to the European Parliament for a second reading.

Commission Press Release IP/00/601 of 13/6/00 available at:

EU Internet address backed

Internet users have given strong support to the Cion's idea of creating a '.eu'
domain name for web sites. This emerges from a public consultation launched
in February and integrated into the eEurope Action Plan approved by the Feira
European Council in June. The Cion has now requested formal delegation of
the .eu domain name and its insertion into the domain name system, which
identifies and locates Internet sites. The present congested system could limit
the growth of e-commerce in Europe, which has no specific area-wide domain
name for sites.

Commission press release IP/00/708 of 5/7/00 available at:

Telecom frequencies secured

Four weeks of complex negotiations have paved the way for further growth in
third-generation mobile telecoms and satellite navigation systems. The World
Radio-Communications Conference 2000 (WRC 2000), identified more radio
spectrum for third-generation mobile systems and a sufficient amount for
satellite navigation, such as the EU's Galileo project. Commissioner Erkki
Liikanen said that now sufficient availability of radio spectrum was secured,
the EU could consolidate its position in these areas. WRC 2000 also agreed a
plan to increase the capacity of countries for broadcasting by satellite, the
introduction of 'Internet-in-the sky' services, and the use of wireless multi-
media local loops with ground and satellite facilities.


Commission press release IP/00/572 of 5/6/00 available at:

Commission proposes decision on radio spectrum

The Cion has proposed a regulatory framework for radio spectrum policy in the
European Union (EU). Radio spectrum is the cornerstone for a wide range of
wireless applications, such as third generation mobile communications and
satellite communications.      The aim of the proposal is to ensure the
harmonised availability and efficient use of radio spectrum and where
required, to implement EU policies with regard to electronic communications
and in the areas of transport, broadcasting, and R&D.

The EU also aims to complement the technical work undertaken in the
European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications administrations
(CEPT) and in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) by giving
policy guidance on what its requirements for radio spectrum will be in the
future. At the same time, legal certainty is needed to ensure that radio
spectrum is available in a harmonised manner so that EU policies in the areas
of communications, transport, broadcasting and R&D can be implemented.

The proposal is presented as part of a package of legislative proposals
designed to strengthen competition in electronic communications for the
benefit of consumers and businesses (see also IP/00/749).

Commission press release IP/00/751 of 12/7/00 available at:
For documents, please see:

Closer collaboration between WHO and Commission

The Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Brundtland
and Research Commissioner Busquin plan new efforts to encourage
exchanges of information and a high level of synergy in addressing, through
research, broadly converging objectives for improving the health of
populations. WHO and the European Community have different mandates
and specific responsibilities. Both are concerned to foster research and
development efforts, and to deliver solutions to health improvements. New
strategies must mobilise key actors - those developing relevant technologies
and those streamlining and making use of them. Dr. Brundtland and Mr.
Busquin both underlined the need to step up research in order to improve
health at the global level.

In order to put health research results at the service of all those in need, the
WHO and the Cion's Research Directorate General will aim at fostering new
partnerships including networks of excellence, public health services, industry,
high-tech entrepreneurial businesses, NGOs and governments. The creation
of a European Research Area (ERA) will set new ground for greater co-
ordination of the considerable science and technology resources from the EU,
speeding up delivery, and turning work on the bench into practical

applications. Both the EC and WHO see the role of the development of
scientific partnerships with researchers and research institutions from
developing countries, and the strengthening of research capacities in these
countries, as crucial to improved health.

Both the EC and WHO are concerned that health inequalities among and
within countries remain entrenched. Thus, more attention should be given to
research to guide and monitor health system development and to have an
impact on the policy-making process. WHO and EC have been developing
collaboration in their respective research initiatives. The emergence of a new
focus of research and development activities calls, however, for more
interactions in research policy and programming down to the dissemination of
research results, thus identifying best opportunities under the respective
obligations that the two organisations have.

Both partners could considerably reinforce each other's action and develop
synergies towards common objectives. This strengthened co-operation would
be carried out in the context of a new Exchange of Letters between WHO and
the Cion to be concluded shortly.

Commission Press Release IP/00/653 of 22/6/00 available at:

Commission initiative on GMO approval process

The Cion has decided to propose to Member States a strategy to regain public
trust in the approval procedure for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

The objective is to resume the authorisation process for GMOs in the near
future whilst addressing public concerns on GMOs as well as problems of
legal uncertainty for stakeholders. The Cion wants to give a clear response to
political and legal concerns over GMOs, which favours consumer choice and
legal certainty. The Cion proposes to apply the key provisions on the revised
directive on the release of GMOs in the environment to all new GMO
approvals after agreement on its content has been reached between the
Council and the European Parliament. The conciliation procedure is due to
start on the 19 September. Further measures on labelling and traceability of
GMOs will be put forward in the autumn.

The Cion firmly believes that it is crucial to all stakeholders to assume their
responsibilities and adopt a comprehensive perspective on the issue of GMO
authorisations. With this approach, the Cion wishes to signal to Member
States, other Community institutions, trading partners and civil society that it is
necessary to respond to public concern with concrete action. Not to act does
not constitute a solution, but would leave the EU unprepared and lagging
behind in the handling of GMOs.

Rapid agreement between the European Parliament and the Council could
result in adoption of the revised Directive by autumn 2000 with transposition in
national law by spring 2002.



Commission proposes new food safety hygiene rules

The most radical shake up for 25 years of the Community's food safety
hygiene rules has been announced by David Byrne, Health and Consumer
Protection Commissioner. Under the proposals, contained in 4 Regulations,
food operators right through the food chain will bear primary responsibility for
food safety. The new regulations will merge, harmonise and simplify very
detailed and complex hygiene requirements previously scattered over 17
existing directives. They innovate in making a single, transparent hygiene
policy applicable to all food and all food operators, from the farm to the table,
together with effective instruments to manage food safety and any future food
crises throughout the food chain. The focus is on setting objectives while
leaving business flexibility in deciding the safety measures to take, rather than
prescribing them in great detail.

Commission press release IP/00/791 of 17/7/00 available at:

Ethics committee on research into human stem cells

The European Group on Ethics (EGE) is preparing an opinion on research and
the use of human stem cells, to be presented to the Cion this autumn. At a
round table on the ethical aspects and uses of human stem cells, Noelle
Lenoir, Chair of the EGE, emphasised the importance of continuing research
on human stem cells which may give rise to therapies besides post-genome
research while respecting and giving ample consideration to the important
ethical problems raised by such research.

The EGE plans to publish its opinion at the end of September. This will aim to
address how to allow research to continue along the best possible path to
protect human life and patients' expectations while moving towards a clearer
distinction between embryos and totipotent cells, which could not be the object
of research, and pluripotent stem cells that could actually be used.

Cordis press release no. 15118 of 5/7/00, available at:

New structure for DG SANCO

The Cion’s Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection (acronym:
DG SANCO) has completely revamped its structure in July. The changes
made are principally designed to facilitate the pursuit of the political priorities
already identified by the Cion in the White Paper on Food Safety, including the
creation of the Food Safety Authority. They therefore reflect the integrated
approach of the food production and distribution chain, "from the farm to the
fork" as set out in the White Paper.

The new Directorate-General comprises seven directorates. Their main
responsibilities are:
A. General Affairs has a co-ordinating and supporting role for the DG as a
whole in institutional relations, budget and human resources management,
informatics and information policy and legal affairs.
B. Consumer Affairs is responsible for the development of consumer policy in
all economic sectors other than food, notably in areas such as e-commerce
and financial services.
C. Scientific Opinions remains largely unchanged pending the creation of the
Food Safety Authority
D. Food Safety throughout the production and distribution chain will be
responsible for legislation, measures ensuring an informed choice for
consumers, and the management of feed and food safety emergencies.
E. Food Safety will cover related issues concerning animal and plant health,
including animal welfare, as well as international food safety issues.
F. The Food and Veterinary Office's main task is to carry out inspections in
relation to food safety both within the EU and in third countries wishing to
export to the EU. Currently based in Dublin, the FVO will transfer to Grange,
County Meath, Ireland, in 2001.
G. Public Health, based in Luxembourg, its main mission will be to implement
the Prodi Cion's new Public Health Strategy.


Commissioner calls for measures to conserve deep water species

Franz Fischler, Commissioner responsible for Agriculture, Rural Development
and Fisheries, has called for measures to be taken both by the European
Community and international bodies to conserve deep-water fish species.
According to scientific advice, immediate reductions in these fisheries should
be made unless they can be shown to be sustainable. The Cion is considering
the setting up of total allowable catches for these stocks next year and has
also requested a discussion at the next meeting of the North-East Atlantic
Fisheries Cion in November on the management of these resources.

Fishing fleets affected by the depletion of most commercial stocks on the
continental shelves of the North Atlantic have been turning their attention to
deeper water species which, until recently, were not exploited. There are
currently no measures to regulate fisheries targeting these species, most of
which are already overexploited.

The Cion is concerned at the state of these resources and is currently
considering proposals to set total allowable catches for them, with effect from
2001, in the context of the Common Fisheries Policy. The need for equitable
allocations of resources between Member States would guide the setting up of
quotas. Since many of the stocks concerned extend beyond Community
waters, action by the EU alone would not be sufficient to conserve them.

Commission press release IP/00/718 of 6/7/00 available at:

Improved access to environmental information

The Cion has adopted a proposal for a Directive on public access to
environmental information, intended to replace the 1990 Directive on the
freedom of access to information on the environment. This new proposal will
seek to correct shortcomings identified in the practical application of the 1990
Directive, paving the way for Community ratification of the UN/ECE
Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making
and Access to Justice (the Aarhus Convention).

If approved by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, the
proposal will grant greater right of access to environmental information,
widening the definition of environmental information and clarifying the scope of
current exceptions for refusing information. The directive also aims to ensure
that environmental information is made available and disseminated to the
public in particular by means of the new information technologies.

Commission Press Release IP/00/699 of 28/6/00 available at:
Full text of the proposal:

New EU regulation on ozone depleting substances

The new regulation, which applies from 1 October 2000, aims at a quicker
elimination of ozone depleting substances (ODS) in the European Community
than that agreed under the Montreal Protocol. The new regulation will ban all
hydrochlorofluorocarbon use within the next four years except for the
maintenance of existing equipment; introduces a slightly faster reduction
schedule for methyl bromide use in agriculture, and introduce more stringent
controls on the handling of ODS. The latter will include mandatory recovery
and destruction and improved monitoring and licensing schemes of these
substances prior to their final phaseout in 2005.

Full text of the adopted proposal available at:

Commission plans for a pollution register

The Cion has adopted a Decision on the setting up of a European
Pollutant Emission Register (EPER). The Register will cover emissions
of 50 pollutants from about 20,000 individual industrial facilities across
the European Union and act as a public instrument to provide accessible
and comparable information on the emissions of pollutants from industry.

After introduction in 2003, it is hoped that EPER will improve public
awareness and help meet the needs for the public "right-to-know" about
industrial pollution. Information on emissions of 50 pollutants from about

20,000 individual industrial facilities, covered by the IPPC Directive, will
be collected in the EPER.

Every three years Member States will are obliged to report to the Cion,
with the first reports sent in June 2003, providing data on emissions in
2001 (optionally 2000 or 2002). The Cion, assisted by the European
Environment Agency, will make the data in the EPER register / database
publicly accessible by dissemination of the reported data on the Internet,
including disclosure of site-specific information of individual industrial

Commission Press Release IP/00/816 of 20/7/00 available at:

European Parliament wants action on endocrine disrupters

The European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and
Consumer Policy is calling for immediate action to prevent damage to the
environment and health caused by endocrine disrupters. The human body's
endocrine system regulates not only reproduction, but also growth, blood
pressure and blood sugar, the body's metabolism, the functioning of the brain
and the nervous system. However, a wide range of chemicals - known as
endocrine disrupters - are believed to disturb the endocrine system in both
humans and animals.

The Cion plans to draw up a list of substances suspected of being endocrine
disrupters and then subject them to further testing. But the EP Committee
wants action now. It says a list of substances should be identified, against
which immediate steps should be taken under the precautionary principle.
Measures should include banning, phasing out and/or limiting the use of these
substances and the measures should be decided upon before mid-2001. The
Committee is now urging the Cion and Member States to establish a European
screening and testing strategy. In its report on the subject, it calls for a
European scientific research programme aimed at gathering information and
scientific knowledge and encouraging the exchange of information on
endocrine disrupters. It also requests that the Cion, which is proposing to
analyse existing legal instruments only in the long run, now complete this
study by mid-2001.

FURTHER INFORMATION: EP News Report 12/7/00.

Commission signs protocol on landmines

The Cion's Joint Research Centre (JRC), Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands,
Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States have signed a
memorandum of understanding on the International Test and Evaluation
Programme for Humanitarian De-mining (ITEP). The aim of this programme is
to create a network of research centres dealing with de-mining technologies.
These centres will conduct tests on the reliability and the performance of de-
mining equipment for all interested states. Moreover, it is foreseen to train

staff involved in de-mining and to advise states wanting to purchase better,
safer and more cost-efficient de-mining equipment.

The decision on the European Union's Framework Programme for Research
foresees that the JRC undertakes action in the field of artificial risks created by
mankind and contributes to civil de-mining action through a network of public
and private research centres. This network is now set up with support from
the United Nations and in collaboration with several countries, especially the
United States. The ITEP programme is open to all countries wanting to join
the de-mining action. The role of the JRC is that of a technical and
administrative secretariat.

Commission press release IP/00/792 of 17/7/00 available at:

Funds for UK regions

A seven-year programme for regional development in the UK worth 4,857
million Euro (£3,024m) of EU financing was approved by the Cion in June.
These Structural funds will go to four Objective 1 areas: Merseyside; Cornwall
and the Isles of Scilly; South Yorkshire; West Wales and the Valleys. The
funding will mobilise over 11,454 million Euro (£7,131m) in investment, of
which about 20% will be co-financed from the private sector. It is estimated
that the programmes will bring the equivalent of 154,000 new jobs and provide
training in new skills for 420,000 people. The funds will enhance the
competitiveness of these regions, modernising the industrial base,
encouraging high growth sectors, improving skills and promoting the
Information Society. Programmes for other UK regions will be decided in the
coming weeks.

Commission press release IP/00/660 of 26/6/00 available at:

Review Euro changeover plans

Details of how Member States in the Euro-zone will change over to Euro notes
and coins from 1 January 2002 have been published by the Cion. Its
Communication details arrangements such as the ending of legal tender for
national notes and coins, Euro denominations to be made available in cash
machines, and the distribution of Euro coin kits ahead of 'Euro-day' on 1
January 2002.

Commission press release IP/00/748 of 12/7/00 available at:

The Cion has urged Euro-zone countries to make more information available
to consumers. Half feel well informed about the Euro, according to a poll, but
half had no or little information.

Commission press release IP/00/728 of 7/7/00 available at:

Eurosceptic mantras debunked

The supposed rationale underpinning Eurosceptic views is analysed and
dismantled in a booklet published on by the Cion Representation in the UK.
Distorted claims, such as 'Britain always loses out' and 'the EU is strangling
enterprise with red tape', are examined and debunked. Geoffrey Martin, head
of the Cion Representation in the UK, said that 25 years of distortion had
fostered an attitude based on wilful misrepresentation of what the EU was for
and how it worked. He hoped that the Glossary of Eurosceptic Beliefs would
help correct this negative contribution to the debate by laying out some of the
essential facts in contrast to key Eurosceptic themes.

FURTHER INFORMATION: A Glossary of Eurosceptic Beliefs - an expose of
misunderstanding is available from
and can be ordered from Tel: +44 20 7463 8177.


EU leaders push for Lisbon strategy

EU leaders underlined the need for maintaining momentum in implementing
the Lisbon strategy for strengthening the employment situation in the
knowledge-based economy, during the European Council's two-day summit in
Feira to mark the conclusions of the Portuguese Presidency.

The European Council highlighted several target areas for action, beginning
with the Cion's eEurope 2002 action plan. Member States were asked to
ensure a full and timely implementation of the proposals for creating a
knowledge-based society open to all, and the Cion was asked to make regular
reports on their progress.

The commitment made by EU Research Ministers towards developing a
European research area was welcomed by EU Heads of State. They were
particularly enthusiastic about proposed measures to draw up criteria for
benchmarking research policies and mapping scientific and technological
excellence, undertaking to network national and European research
programmes, and the high speed network connecting research institutes. The
Cion was invited to pursue dialogue with the US authorities on establishing a
broadband transatlantic link between European and US research and
education centres.

EU Heads of State also approved the Cion's guidelines for adapting education
systems for the Information Society. All EU institutions were encouraged to
develop further measures to encouraging a lifelong learning strategy.


Enter DOC/00/14 in Search Term field.

Research Council - one step closer to European Research Area

The first concrete steps towards establishing a European Research Area have
been laid, following the endorsement of Commissioner Busquin's initiative by
the Research Council meeting. Research ministers approved the Cion's
proposals for encouraging greater co-operation between national research
programmes, beginning with the establishment of a high-speed trans-
European network connecting research institutes, universities and other
educational establishments under the Giant programme.

The Research Council called upon the Cion, with the support of the European
Investment Bank, to set in place by the end of 2001, a broadband network with
a speed of 2.5 gigabits per second, moving gradually towards a speed of 100
gigabits per second. Research Council President Gago said this network
would bring policies for the Information Society and the European Research
Area together. All ministers agreed that there was a need to avoid possible
social and economic exclusion resulting from unequal access to the
educational and technological tools of the Information Society.          The
Netherlands stressed that the link between the public and private sector
research should be strengthened.

The Research Council also welcomed Busquin's proposals included in the
document 'First steps towards a European Research Area', for launching the
benchmarking of national policies, establishing centres of excellence, and for
encouraging the mobility of researchers, inviting the Cion to present a set of
indicators and assessment method by October. Following the endorsement of
the Lisbon summit, the Research Council also welcomed moves towards
establishing a cheap and easy-to-use- Community patent by the end of 2001.

While the measures proposed would go some way towards making the ERA a
reality, ministers said the important issue at this stage is setting objectives.
Questioned on his plans for the forthcoming French Presidency, Minister
Schwartzenberg said establishing the ERA would be a priority. He put forward
ideas to set up a European Academy of Science, and an agency for the
dissemination of the results of European research along the lines of the
AlphaGalileo system which promotes British, German and French research.
When questioned on the cost of such initiatives, he pointed to EU countries
such as Finland which successfully spend large amounts on research,
promising he would try to find the necessary budget.

International cooperation outside the EU was also discussed, in the context of
synergies between FP5 and the MEDA programme (co-operation with
Mediterranean countries). The Council approved the progress already made
in this area, and encouraged the Cion to follow up the realisation of joint
activities between EU countries and Mediterranean partners in the context of
the European Research Area.

Select Council, then research, No. 9411/00 (15/6/00)

More potential for genome research in FP5?

Commissioner Busquin has indicated the redirection of FP5 funds into genome
research in the wake of the first draft sequence of the human genome. He has
announced a new initiative on post-sequencing genome research for autumn
2000, to be approved by the Research Council in November. Two possibilities
are under consideration at the moment: a new key action in the Quality of Life
programme to host all genomic research within FP5, or specific targeted calls
for proposals within the existing programme structure. A revised work
programme incorporating any changes of direction in QoL is expected to be
launched by the end of this year.

Spokesman’s Service of Commissioner Busquin, Midday Express 26/6/00.

New rules for Eureka

Ministers from across Europe adopted a new set of guidelines for taking the
Eureka initiative forward and halting its terminal decline. Eureka aims to
encourage and assist collaborative research and development projects
between European companies, research organisations and higher education
institutions. With its strong market orientation, Eureka complements the
Cion's programmes of strategic research.         Whilst the new guidelines
addressed some of Eureka's shortcomings (e.g. devolved management
process), the steps recommended for revitalising the initiative have been left to
one side. Meanwhile, the ministerial meeting also saw Croatia, Israel and
Latvia formally granted membership of the Eureka initiative. This brings the
total number of Eureka member states to 29. All three have been active in
Eureka projects before now.


Legal protection of biotechnological inventions FAQ

In light of the increased public interest in genomic research which has followed
the presentation of the results of the Human Genome Project, the Cion has
decided to publish a brief document with Frequently Asked Questions on the
scope and objectives of EU Directive (98/44), the so-called 'biotech patents

Aimed at a non-legal audience, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
document provides some clarification on the intended scope and effects of the
Directive on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions.

Commission Press Release MEMO/00/39 of 3/7/00 available at
Text of Directive EC 98/44:

Further information on the Directive

Achilleas Mitsos new Director-General for Research

The Cion has appointed Achilleas Mitsos as Director General for research
following a proposal by Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin and in
agreement with the President of the Cion and Neil Kinnock, Vice-President in
charge of administrative reform. This decision is in contrast to earlier rumours,
according to which the Cion wanted to appoint an external candidate. It now
seems that it was politically advisable to appoint an internal applicant who is
already familiar with internal Cion procedures (and politics).

Achilleas Mitsos, born in 1947, is an economist by training holding academic
degrees from Athens and Pittsburgh universities as well as a professorship at
the University of Athens. Mr Mitsos has more than 15 years of working
experience in the Cion. Between 1985 and 1988 Mr Mitsos headed the private
office of the then Commissioner for Regional Policy and Consumer Affairs
followed by a directorship (1988-1993) in Directorate General XXII (Structural
Interventions), where he was in charge of Structural Funds reform. He
continued his career as Director for vocational training in the Directorate
General "Education, Training and Youth" until 1996. In 1996, Mr Mitsos was
appointed Director in charge of the programme "Training and Mobility of
Researchers" and "Improving Human Potential" in the Directorate General for

It is understood that Mr. Mitsos wishes to retain responsibility for the Socio-
Economic Knowledge Base Key Action as well as to have the Socio-Economic
aspects across the thematic programmes report directly to him. This could
indicate that socio-economic issues may be given a higher profile in future.
His new appointment is also expected to lead to a reorganisation over the
coming months within DG Research to address the continuing problem of
having three Directors responsible for the implementation of each thematic

FURTHER INFORMATION: For a detailed CV of Achilleas Mitsos, please see
Commission Press Release IP/00/612 of 13/6/00 available at:

Research networks gear up

EU-backed research networks will support work by some of Europe's most
talented young scientists over the next few years. Each of the 167 projects
selected in the latest round of the scheme typically involves eight research
teams from five different countries, supported by around 1.5 million Euro
(£0.93m) over three years. The programme enables young scientists to gain
experience by working with others from a range of institutions in the
international teams. The new networks were launched by Nobel Prize winner
Professor Gerardus 't Hooft, who is a partner in one of them. He stressed the
importance of international career development for researchers.


Full details of the research training networks, including vacancies for
researchers, are available at:
Commission Press Release IP/00/598 of 9/6/00 available at:

Successful FAIR Projects

The FAIR programme was one of the research programmes through which the
Cion awarded funds in the period 1994-98. It supported research and
demonstration programs in agro-industry, food technology, forestry,
aquaculture and rural development. The FAIR programme has placed
particular emphasis on applications of biotechnology for the development of
(food and non-food) raw materials with attractive characteristics during
transformation or during end-product formulation. In all 620 projects were
funded through FAIR, with a total EU contribution of 514 million Euro. Many of
the last fair projects are being completed during 2000.

A complete catalogue of projects funded is available on the Web at:

EU research project makes agro-food breakthrough

A European Union-funded research project has led to a major breakthrough
for the agro-food industry. The Fralupro project has brought about the
development of a high value protein ingredient, rubisco, which could replace
costly imports into the Union. Rubisco is produced by alfalfa, through
extraction technology owned by one of the commercial partners in the project.
 It has a high nutritional value (equivalent to cow's milk and superior to soya)
and could be used in a variety of applications from food to pharmaceuticals. It
is cheap to produce and it is envisaged that production at the plant in France,
which is a partner in the project, could reach 1,200 tonnes a year.

The breakthrough's impact is likely to be significant. Production of alfalfa is
actively encouraged in the EU as it can provide competition for imported soya
used for animal feed (usually coming from the US, Argentina or Brazil)

FURTHER INFORMATION: Based on Press Release from DG Research,

No more corked wine

Wine ruined because of chemical or microbial contamination from corks could
become a thing of the past thanks to EU-funded research. A consortium of
small companies from Germany, Portugal and Spain and a German research
institute have found a technique using microwaves to penetrate the corks
which prevents them from chemically reacting with the contents of the bottle.
Funding to develop this project came from the Cion's CRAFT programme
which helps small companies who do not have sufficient research capacity of
their own to access the latest technology through collaboration with research

institutes. An increasing number of small businesses are participating in
European research projects: more than 14,500 from 1994-1998 and their
participation rate increased by 20% in 1999.

Commission press release IP/00/662 of 27/6/00 available at:

Harnessing the energy of sea waves

A new breakthrough in efforts to harness energy from the oceans is to be
achieved with the launch of a newly developed 'experimental wave energy
device' in Plymouth, UK.

A European consortium of small companies and universities, coordinated by
the University of Plymouth, has spent the last 18 months working on the
device and has attracted significant funding from the European Commission's
'CRAFT' scheme. CRAFT projects encourage collaborations between small
companies and universities throughout Europe to create problem-solving

While the idea of generating electricity from the sea is not itself original, how to
harness wave power as a source of sustainable energy has stumped
researchers across the world for many years. The new device works on the
principle of multiple water columns, which oscillate with the movement of the
sea waves. Air displaced above the water in the columns drives an air turbine
to generate power.

It is hoped that the technology can be used to supply power to remote islands
and offshore installations where communities currently rely on expensive
traditional means of generating power, consuming valuable natural resources.
In contrast, sea waves are a renewable resource, and wave energy
technology may provide a clean source of power.

Enter 15160 in Search Term field.


EU-China Scholarship 2000

Chris Patten, European Commissioner for external relations, and Mr Shi
Guansheng, Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of the
People's Republic of China, have signed a Financing Agreement for a 32
million Euro Scholarship Programme that will enable some 2000 Chinese
students to complete their studies or conduct research in Europe. This
programme is expected to give 2000 members of the younger generations of
China the chance to study in Europe and gain first-hand knowledge of
Europe's countries, institutions, governments, history and culture. The
programme will grant 2000 short term (3 months) and long term (10 months)

scholarships for research, postgraduate courses and advanced training in the
fields of Natural sciences and Technology, Business administration and Law,
Social sciences and Humanities, and European Studies.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Midday Express of 14/7/00, available at:

European Year of Languages approved

The decision on the European Year of Languages 2001 was formally adopted at
the June meeting of the Education Council. The objectives of the year will be:

to raise people’s awareness of the richness of linguistic and cultural diversity
within the European Union, taking into account that all languages have equal
to encourage multilingualism;
to highlight the advantages of the knowledge of several languages as a key
element in personal and professional development;
to encourage the life-long learning of languages;
to collect and disseminate information and best practice in language learning.

The overall budget for the European Year of Languages will be 8 million Euro.
Measures supported during the year will include meetings and events,
information and promotional campaigns and research studies. Some of these
measures will receive 100% Community financing; the majority will be on a
shared-cost basis, with a Community contribution of 50%.


Youth Programme update

The Cion has announced the work schedule and the funding available for the
Youth Programme in 2000. The Youth Programme provides support for mobility
projects for young people – both short-term (the “Youth for Europe” programme)
and long-term (the “European Voluntary Service” programme) and projects
(known as “Youth Initiatives”) planned and implemented by young people
individually or in groups, and training for adults responsible for youth policy.
Particular attention is being focussed on actions incorporating sport and culture
and on improving the employability of young people.

This year 17.5 million Euro have been allocated for Youth for Europe. The
funding consists mainly of a contribution towards travel expenses and a flat-rate
allowance for the implementation of the project. The European Voluntary
Service will receive 19.5 million Euro this year. A total of 6 million Euro are to
be allocated to Youth Initiatives, involving projects in which young people are
the direct beneficiaries of Community funding without any youth organisation
acting as intermediary.

The Youth Programme is open to EEA member countries, the associated
countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey. Non-

member countries will mainly be able to take part in the Youth for Europe and
Voluntary Service parts of the Programme. The non-member priority countries
are the Mediterranean countries with which the EU has partnership agreements,
the Commonwealth of Independent States and south-eastern Europe.

The Youth Programme is one component of the EU’s youth policy. The
Commissioner for Education, Culture and Youth, Viviane Reding has also
initiated an exchange of ideas on future youth policy, which will be set out in a
White Paper to be published at the beginning of 2001.

Commission press release IP/00/809 of 19/7/00 available at:

European Parliament calls for more funding for MEDIA Programmes

The MEDIA Training and MEDIA Plus Programmes were recently discussed in
the EP, following a report submitted by MEP Ruth Hieronymi.

The Parliament considers that the resources for the Programmes should be
significantly increased and that the resources available through MEDIA Training
should be concentrated on continuous training and only should by way of
exception be used for initial training projects. MEPs expressed particular
concern over the high costs to small and medium sized enterprises participating
in the scheme, proposing that payment procedures and administration by the
Cion should be simplified.

The EP also viewed that special consideration should be given to the specific
needs of the audio-visual sector in countries with a relatively small audio-visual
sector and/or in geographically and linguistically small regions.

European Parliament Daily Notebook, available at:

UK and EU spending on education

UK public spending on education was less than the EU average at primary
(86.6% of EU average) and secondary level (89%) in 1997, but above this at
tertiary level (110.2%), Eurostat estimates.

Select English; Browse by News Releases or select theme 'Population and
social conditions'. Date 12/07/00

European on-line forum on distance education launched

The European Distance Education Network (EDEN), one of the most
successful European networks in this field, has recently opened an electronic
discussion forum on the general topic of distance education. This will provide
an opportunity for communication and exchange of views mainly within the

EDEN membership, but contributions from the wide professional community of
open and distance learning are also welcomed.



EU-ACP Cotonou Agreement

The European Union and the ACP (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) Countries have
signed a new Partnership Agreement in Cotonou (Benin). The Cotonou
Agreement replaces the Lome Convention, which had provided the structure
for trade and co-operation between ACP countries and the Community since

The new agreement differs from the previous convention in the strengthened
focus on poverty reduction, a new framework for economic and trade co-
operation, and the reform of financial co-operation. It also sets out the general
framework for development strategies, which will govern the 13.5 billion Euro
European Development Fund covering the Agreement's first five years.

Commission Press Release IP/00/640 of 21/6/00 available at:

Argentina supports National Participants in FP5

Argentina's National Agency for the promotion of science and technology has
launched a call to allocate subsidies to research groups looking to participate
in the European Union's Fifth RTD Framework programme (FP5). A first
selection of the projects has already been made in Argentina and a second
selection will be carried out before 30 September 2000. The Agency will
finance non-profit public or private institutions established in Argentina through
its fund for scientific and technological research (FONCYT). The funds are
meant to cover the Argentine co-financing of projects previously selected by
the EU. The Fund was established towards the end of 1999 after the singing
of a Science and Technology cooperation agreement between Argentina and
the European Community on 20 September 1999, aimed to promote Argentine
participation in FP5.


EU and Turkey open contacts

The process of analytical examination of the EU acquis communautaire, that is
the whole body of EU rules and legislation, has got underway with Turkey.
Turkey was recognised as a candidate for accession to the EU at the end of
1999. Progress on the harmonisation of Turkey's legislation and application in
practice with the rules and legislation of the EU will now be monitored. The
first areas to be looked at are agriculture and fisheries, which together cover
almost half of the acquis, to be followed by energy, transport, environment and
the internal market.

Commission press release IP/00/649 of 22/6/00 available at:

EU-Israel Agreement officially enters into force

The EU-Israel Association agreement has entered into force, following
ratification by the European Parliament, the Knesset and the legislatures of the
15 Member States of the European Union. The agreement's entry into force
completes a series of agreements between Israel and the EU, including
scientific and technological cooperation with FP5 (which entered into force in
early 1999); an agreement on procurement for telecommunications operators
and on government procurement (which entered into force in early 1997); and
an agreement on good laboratory practice, which came into force in May this

The EU-Israel Association agreement is one of a series of similar Euro-
Mediterranean Association Agreements signed or under negotiation between
the European Union and its 12 partners in the Euro-Mediterranean
Partnership. Association agreements with Tunisia, Morocco and an interim
agreement with the Palestinian Authority are already in force. One of the aims
of these agreements is to create a basis for the creation of an Euro-
Mediterranean Free Trade Area by 2010.

Commission press release IP/00/557 of 31/5/00 available at:

Aviation co-operation with India

The Indian government and the European Union have signed a Financing
Agreement for the "EU-India Civil Aviation Project" amounting to 32 million
Euro. The Cion is contributing a grant of 18 million Euro to the project over a
period of 3 years.

This project aims to encourage closer ties between the European aerospace
industry and regulatory authorities and the Indian authorities, aerospace
industry and operators, in order to facilitate direct business contacts in a sector
with high potential for co-operation, and which could have a catalytic effect on
industrial practice within India.

Partners in the "EU-India Civil Aviation Project" are the Cion, the Indian
Ministry of Civil Aviation the European Association of Aerospace Industries
(AECMA), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the Society of Indian
Aerospace Technologies and Industries (SIATI).



Conference on future training and mobility of researchers

The purpose of the conference to be held from 4 to 7 October 2000 in
Heraklion, Crete, is to provide a forum for researchers and research
administrators to exchange views concerning the present experience of
mobility opportunities in Europe and how these could be further developed in
the 21st century.

Mobility is an effective way of training researchers and disseminating
knowledge. There are various measures by the European Union towards this
goal. Almost 8,000 young European scientists have taken advantage of these
measures and at least an equal number is anticipated within the next 4 years.
It is expected that mobility will not be strictly related to the training of a young
researcher but it will follow throughout his/her career. In addition, the mobility
of scientists between academia and industry will also be further developed.
This seems to be the most successful way to improve the synergy among
universities and industry. The main theme of the conference is the EC
communication "Towards a European Research Area.

Areas to be covered are:
A. Matching needs and capacity of researchers in Europe
Attractiveness of European research and brain drain
Virtual mobility-An opportunity for the Europeans?
B. Facilitate mobility of researchers and scientists in Europe
Obstacles that have a bearing on the mobility of researchers
European dimension of research careers
C. Mobility as an instrument for transfer of knowledge and technology
European policy for transfer of knowledge and technology
Mobility of researchers between the academic world and industry and between
regions as a vehicle for regional development including accession countries
D. Adding a European dimension to scientific education
Training in new "Hot countries"
Role of international scientific organisations in the promotion of the European
dimension to scientific education

FURTHER INFORMATION: or directly from
the organising committee: IEHRP Conference Organising Committee,
Foundation for Research & Technology (FORTH), Institute of Electronic
Structure and Laser (IESL), P.O. Box 1527, Vassilika Vouton, GR-711 10
Heraklion, Crete, Greece, tel: + 30 81 391315, fax: + 30 81 391318, e-mail:

Information Society conference

This year's Information Society Conference will take place in Nice, from 6 to 8
November. It will include presentations on Framework 5's Information Society
Programme, covering the evaluation of the programme so far, an update on

the work of the external advisory group details of the 2001 work programme
and plans for future calls for proposals.


Major conference on brain research

A multitude of projects on brain research were presented at the 22nd congress
of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum (CINP) in
Brussels that was attended by more than 5000 delegates. This year scientists
reported encouraging progress in research into major neurophsychiatric
disorders like schizophrenia, manic depression and mood disorders like
anxiety and depression. Major technological developments in brain imaging,
molecular genetics and neuroinformatics (the use of computers to analyse
images of the brain) were also showcased.

Among the projects presented were several research projects on the central
nervous system funded by the Cion, which are already generating
encouraging results. The 'Biomorph' project, for example, has developed new
techniques for imaging the brain by combining magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI) technology with CT scan technology. And IMGSAC - an international
molecular genetic study of Autism is searching for the genes leading to the
disorder. In addition to funding research on the central nervous system (CNS)
the Cion supports continuing medical education standards available through
the European accreditation committee in CNS medicine.

FURTHER INFORMATION:, search for Press Release 15151.

Conference on the role of risk analysis in the EU

The Cion has held an international conference in Brussels covering the
different aspects of risk analysis: risk assessment, risk management and risk
communication. Risk analysis is recommended or mandated by an increasing
number of Community legislation. The objective of the conference was to take
stock of current knowledge in this area and to further develop ideas about how
to use the different risk analysis instruments in the EU. Distinguished
international experts have covered the different facets of risk analysis and
commented on its increasing significance and application worldwide in the
evaluation of substances, products and processes.

The programme and other information are available at:


New interface between life sciences and socio-economics

DG Research’s Life Sciences Directorate has set up a new web site focusing
on socio-economic research in the life sciences. It hopes the website will
serve as a platform for the collection and dissemination of information in this
field, stimulating thinking on the emerging 'Bio-society'.

The website gives details on the following topics:
The Quality of Life Programme's aims and activities. This includes information
on the socio-economic dimension in the Quality of Life programme and advice
to applicants:
The Datastore:
Information, tools and facilities to improve network exchanges between
researchers, provide on-line knowledge and be a reference point for all
stakeholders, including the public by providing exact and practical information
on technology impact.

A 'Bioforum' has also been set up to offer users the possibility of
communicating directly among themselves.           Links to other EU-related
initiatives and Cion sites relevant to socio-economic issues in the life sciences
are also provided.


New publications from the Quality of Life Programme

A number of new publications are now available from the Quality of Life
programme under FP5:
A brochure on 'Improving the Quality of Life'. A 16-page brochure, which
presents the programme in layman's terms, with examples of earlier projects.
(Catalogue number: ISBN 92-828-5549-X).
An inventory of public biotechnology R&D programmes in Europe by C. Enzing
et al. Is also available from the Quality of Life Information Desk: at the
address below.
vol. 1 (68pp) Analytical report - EUR 18886/1;
vol. 2 (280pp) National reports - EUR 18886/2;
vol. 3 (263pp) National reports - EUR 18886/3.
The 'CORDIS RTD-results supplement'. A compilation of science and
technology results from FP4’s life science programmes (Biomed, Biotech and
FAIR).   It   is    available   in    print  and  in   PDF from       URL:
Summaries of research projects form the Biomed 2 programme are also
available from the Cion. The catalogue of Biomed 2 projects (1994-98) is
divided into two volumes. Vol. 1 (713pp) ISBN 92-828-7426-5 and Vol. 2
(651pp) ISBN 92-828-7315-3.

FURTHER       INFORMATION:         Quality    of    Life   Information     Desk,
fax: +32 2 299 1860, email:

New pages for Energy Framework Programme

The European Union’s Energy Framework Programme, which funds non-
technology research to assist EU energy policy-making and regulations, has
completely re-designed its web site.

The new pages provide useful information on the six strands of the Energy
Framework programme, namely:

SAVE, for actions encouraging energy efficiency;
ALTENER, for the encouragement of renewable energy sources,
CARNOT, for the adoption of clean and efficient fossil fuel technology;
SYNERGY, which provides assistance to non-EU countries;
SURE, aimed at the promotion of safety in transport of radioactive materials and
cooperation with nuclear safety with CEEC and NIS; and
ETAP, for studies in energy policy co-operation.

FURTHER INFORMATION: The Energy Framework Programme,


Cordis is the Community Research and Development Information Service. It is
a web-based service, which provides information on EU R&D programmes
and related issues.

EUR-LEX (Official Journal C and L)

This web site provides information on European Union Law. It includes
electronic copies of the Treaties and recent Copies of the Official Journal of
the European Communities (OJ). The OJ, published daily in 11 languages,
consists of two related series, the L series (Legislation) and the C series
(Information, notices and preparatory EU legislation), a supplement and an
annex. EUR-Lex provides free access to the C and L series of the Official
Journal for a period of 45 days following publication. (The OJ issue with the
Euro exchange rates (L 359, 31/12/1998) is permanently available in PDF
format in EUR-Lex).
Official Journal C & L
Treaty of Amsterdam


EUROPA is the official European Union's Server. It contains links to the
European Parliament, the European Council, the Cion and other EU institutions
and contains information on EU policies listed by subject area.


RAPID is a database giving a daily view of the activities of the European Union
as presented by the Institutions in their press releases.
Commission Press Release are available at:



Cion           The European Commission - made up of 20 Commissioners
               nominated by the Member States both initiates proposals for EU
               legislation and executes EU policies and actions.

COST            European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical
                Research is a framework for scientific and technical cooperation,
                allowing the coordination of national research on a European level.

'Council'      'Council' refers to the 'Council of Ministers', the principle decision-
               making body within the European Union. It has both executive and
               legislative powers, the latter in some cases exercised jointly with the
               European Parliament (co-decision procedure). The Council is
               composed of one representative at ministerial level from each
               Member State. Which Ministers attend each Council meeting varies
               according to the subject discussed, e.g. In the UK the Minister of
               Science attends the Research Council.

Culture 2000    First European Community Framework Programme in support of
                culture, which runs from 2000-2004 (inclusive).

CVCP            Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals (UK)

EEA            European Economic Area: established in 1992, it created             a single
               economic area for free movement of goods and services,              and co-
               operation in education, research, environment and social            policies.
               Members are the EU Member States and Norway,                        Iceland,

EESD            Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development (FP5)

eEurope         eEurope
                A political initiative of the Cion to allow Europe to benefit fully from the
                Information Society.

EP              The European Parliament - which is made up of elected
                representatives (MEPs) from all the Member States. It shares
                decision-making power with the Council in a number of areas
                including research and education.

ERA           European Research Area. On 18 January 2000, the Cion issued a
              Communication entitled "Towards a European Research Area"
              which proposed ways in which research in Europe could be more
              effectively organised and coordinated.

ESC           European Economic and Social Committee is a consultative body
              made up of representatives of Europe's employers' organisations,
              trade unions, farmers, consumer groups and professional
               Press Releases:

ESF           European Science Foundation.

ESF           The European Social Fund

FP (FP5, FP6) The EU's Framework Programme for Research and Technological
              Development. The Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) was adopted in
              1998 and will run until 2002, when the next framework programme
              FP6, is expected to supersede it.

              FP5 is composed of four thematic programmes (see QoL, IST,
              Growth, EESD) and three horizontal programmes (see INCO II,
              Innovation and SMEs, and IHP).

Growth        Competitive and Sustainable Growth (FP5)

IHP           Improving Human Potential Programme (FP5)

INCO II       Confirming the International Role of Community Research (FP5)

INDU          The European Parliament Committee on Industry, External Trade,
              Research and Energy (FP5) also known as ITRE.

INNOVATION    Promoting of Innovation and Encouragement of SME Participation
and SME       (FP5)

INTAS         International Association for the promotion of cooperation with
              scientists from the New Independent States of the former Soviet

IST           Information Society Technologies Programme (FP5)

MEDIA            The MEDIA Plus Programme (2001 - 2005) is to be introduced as a
                 follow-up to the Media II programme which ends in December 2000.
                 The programme aims to strengthen the competitiveness of the
                 European audiovisual industry.

NATO             North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

PHARE            The Phare Programme is the European Union's instrument for
                 financial and technical cooperation with the countries of central and
                 eastern Europe.

QoL              Quality of Life Programme (FP5)

RTD              Research and Technological Development

TACIS            The Tacis Programme aims to forge closer economic and political
                 links with the former republics of the Soviet Union and Mongolia
                 (also known as New Independent States (NIS))

Treaty of        The Treaty of Amsterdam was signed in October 1997 and entered
Amsterdam        into force on 1 May 1999.

                 Prepared on behalf of the British Council by:

                               Rue de la Loi 83
                           1040 Brussels, Belgium
                         Tel: 0032 2 230 5275 / 1535
                            Fax: 0032 2 230 4803



To top