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Draft Statement of the Council's Reasons and Delegation Statements on the Common Position for a Decision Concerning the Seventh Framework Programme for Research (extracts)

Brussels, 20 Sep 2006

Council's reasons:
Full text of Document 12032/06 Addendum 01
Suite of documents 12032/06

Subject: Common position adopted by the Council on 25 September 2006 with a view to the adoption of a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013)
COMMON GUIDELINES
Consultation deadline for Bulgaria and Romania: 25.09.2006

DRAFT STATEMENT OF THE COUNCIL'S REASONS

I. INTRODUCTION

1. On 15 April 2005, the Commission submitted to the European Parliament and the Council its proposals for a Decision of the European Parliament and the Council concerning the 7th Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013), and for a Council Decision concerning the 7th Framework programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for nuclear research and training activities (2007-2011)1.

2. This proposal is based on Article 166(1) of the EC Treaty.

3. The Economic and Social Committee delivered its opinion on 15 December 20052. The Committee of the Regions delivered its opinion on 17 November 20053.

4. The European Parliament delivered its opinion on the proposal on 15 June 20064.

5. The Council adopted its common position on the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013) on 25 September 2006, in accordance with Article 251 of the Treaty.5

II. BACKGROUND AND AIM OF THE PROPOSAL

a) Pursuant to Title XVIII of the EC Treaty (Articles 163 ­ 173), the Community will carry out activities on research and technological development. In particular:

- pursuant to Article 163(1) TEC, the Community shall have the objective of strengthening the scientific and technological bases of Community industry and encouraging it to become more competitive at international level, while promoting all the research activities deemed necessary by virtue of other Chapters of this Treaty;

- pursuant to Article 165(1) TEC, the Community and the Member States shall coordinate their research and technological development activities so as to ensure that national policies and Community policy are mutually consistent;

- pursuant to Article 166(1) TEC, all research and technological development activities of the Community shall be set out in a multiannual Framework Programme (the current Fifth Framework Programme expires in 2002).

b) The European Councils in Lisbon in March 2000, Santa Maria de Feira in June 2000 and Stockholm in March 2001 adopted conclusions aimed at the rapid establishment of a European research and innovation area (ERA) with a view to the EU becoming by 2010 the world's most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy capable of sustainable economic growth, with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion. The re-launch of the Lisbon Strategy undertaken in 2005, and the report of the high-level group of independent expert chaired by Esko Aho, which was mandated by the European Heads of State and Government meeting at Hampton Courts, confirmed the validity of the strategy with regard to scientific research, technological development and innovation.

On this basis, the Commission has proposed that the Seventh Framework Programme should, in addition to fulfilling the objectives laid down in the Treaty and contributing to the Lisbon process by helping to make a reality of ERA and enabling open coordination so that appropriate cooperation in S/T research activities is undertaken at national and

[...]

* * *

Delegation statements:
Full text of Document 12688/06 Addendum 01
Suite of documents 12688/06

No. Cion prop.: 8087/05 RECH 80 ATO 45 COMPET 68 CODEC 266, 11142/06 RECH 181 ATO 74 COMPET 188 CODEC 703
Subject: Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the 7th Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration (2007-2013) [first reading]
- Adoption (cp + s)
(a) of the common position
(b) of the statement of the Council's reasons
- Statements

STATEMENT BY GERMANY

"Germany welcomes the 7th Research Framework Programme as an important instrument for strengthening the scientific and technological foundations of the Community and to foster its competitiveness in important thematic areas.

Protection of human dignity and the right to Life necessitate the comprehensive protection of human life from the moment of its creation. Therefore, European Union support to research should not provide any incentives for the killing of embryos.

Germany therefore welcomes the declaration of the European Commission to continue the practice of FP6, and not to propose to the competent Regulatory Committee under FP7 any projects for financing which foresee the destruction of human embryos.

Although it considers the provisions concerning research with human embryos and human embryonic stem cells to be still insufficient, Germany approves the seventh research framework programme because of its outstanding importance for European research and for social development in the European Union. In this, Germany assumes that, notwithstanding the planned review of this area in the mid-term of the seventh research framework programme, the presently reached agreement concerning the ban on financing the procurement of human embryonic stem cells out of human embryos will remain valid beyond this time span because of its fundamental importance".

STATEMENT BY AUSTRIA

"In principle Austria supports the 7th Research Framework Programme as an important instrument for strengthening the Community's scientific and technological bases and for improving Europe's competitiveness.

As far as bioethics issues in the 7th Framework Programme are concerned, Austria has always advocated funding ethically unobjectionable research on adult stem cells from Community funds.

Once again, Austria emphasizes her position, already expressed frequently, that activities which imply the use of human embryos must not be funded through the 7th Framework Programme for Research. Austria is strictly against this kind of Research for fundamental ethical reasons.

Austria regrets that Article 6 of the 7th Framework Programme Decision allows the financing of research on human embryonic stem cells. Therefore, Austria cannot agree to the overall 7th Framework Programme of the EC".

STATEMENT BY POLAND

"Poland fully recognises that the 7th Framework Programme is a key element of the renewed Lisbon Strategy involving partnership for growth and employment. The Programme represents an important step towards building the knowledge society, raising competitiveness and fostering social and economic progress throughout the EU.

In particular, Poland considers the creation of the European Research Council, the earmarking of significant funds for basic research and priority financing for the brightest young talents as highly valuable. Taking into account Europe's common interest, Poland has and will support increasing funds for research under the 7th Framework Programme.

Poland has steadfastly contributed to the realisation of the Lisbon Strategy and creation of the European Research Area. Our aim is to continue such activities and to support all steps taken in this regard by the Community. Furthermore, Poland holds in high regard the efforts made so far by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council, in preparing the proposal for the decision concerning the 7th Framework Programme. We would like to demonstrate forcefully this appreciation, by voting for the proposal.

However, during discussions on the details of the Programme implementation, Poland consistently signalled that research activities involving any use of human embryonic stem cells or human embryos constitute a departure from the basic moral standards. Furthermore, taking into account

[...]

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