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National reform programmes
One of the main features of the revised Lisbon strategy is that Member States are encouraged to tailor reforms to their specific needs within the overall framework of the European Partnership for Growth and Jobs.
In this context, a new set of Integrated Guidelines [ - 901Kb] was proposed by the Commission and adopted by the European Council in June 2005. Guidelines 7 and 8 in particular highlight the need to increase and improve investment in R&D, in particular by private business and to facilitate all forms of innovation.
Member States agreed to prepare National Reform Programmes [ - 116Kb] to set out their plans with reference to the Integrated Guidelines. These programmes were released from mid-October 2005 onwards.
In these programmes, all Member States identified research and innovation as major challenges. A majority of Member States also set national targets for investment in R&D, which will bring their average R&D performance to 2.6% in 2010 if their targets are met.
The Commission analysed the National Reform Programmes, notably with respect to measures related to research and innovation, as part of its Annual Progress Report on the Lisbon Strategy published on 25 January 2006. In the Report, the Commission called on all Member States that have not yet done so to set national targets for investment in R&D.
The Integrated Guidelines and National Reform Programmes are set for a three-year duration. Every year, Member States and the Commission will report on the progress achieved and the Guidelines and national programmes may be adapted if appropriate.
In the course of this process, the Commission is maintaining bilateral dialogue with all Member States to support the preparation and implementation of their reform programmes.
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