Council gives its view on the future of European research

The Council has widely debated the shape of the 7th Framework
Programme for research and technological development (FP7).
It urges the Commission to set out its vision in early 2005.

The Competitiveness Council has thoroughly discussed the
priorities of the 7th Framework Programme (FP7), put forward by the
Commission in its  communication in June 2004. The issues debated
include: transnational collaborative research, European
technology initiatives, basic research, making Europe more
attractive to researchers, developing European level research
infrastructures, co-ordination of national research programmes, and
security and space research. 

The Council invited the Commission to develop, as part of its
proposal for FP7, a mechanism by which a European Research
Council (ERC) could
be set up. It would fund basic research on the basis of excellence
in a wide range of sectors and disciplines. 

In addition, the Council welcomed the development of
a roadmap describing the scientific needs for research
infrastructures for the next ten to 20 years. It also invited
the Commission to develop a strategy on international scientific
co-operation to ensure the openness of the framework programme to
the rest of the world.

The Commission is expected to present its proposal for FP7
in April 2005. The Council stressed that the proposal needs to be
coherent with the major European research policy objectives
and user-friendly in terms of its administrative and
financial procedures. 

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