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Towards a renewed SCAR
The Standing Commitee on Agricultural Research (SCAR) was established by Regulation (EEC) No. 1728/74 of the Council of 27 June 1974 on the coordination of agricultural research.

SCAR advises the Commission in the field of the coordination of research in agriculture. In the Commission, DG Agriculture was originally responsible for providing the secretariat support and management of the committee.

With the start of the EU Framework Research Programmes in 1981, DG Agriculture be­came responsible for managing the agricultural related programmes of the Framework and utilized SCAR as a ‘Programme Committee’. In that period, SCAR had a dual function both as a programme committee and also as a committee for exchanging information and for consultation between Member States and the Commission on agricultural research priorities.

In 1998, the management responsibility for agricultural research activities within the Fifth Framework Programme was transferred from the Directorate-General for Agriculture to the Research DG. SCAR then lost its function as a programme committee. However because the responsibility for SCAR remained with DG Agriculture, the Committee was occasionally invited to advise on agricultural research issues.

At the 2599th session of the Council Agriculture and Fisheries of 19 July 2004, Commissioner Busquin announced in his speech the transfer of SCAR from DG Agriculture to DG Research. He asked the Agricultural Ministers to give their support to SCAR having a major role in the coordination of agricultural research efforts in Europe.

The initiative of the Dutch Presidency (June – December 2004)

At the 2599th session of the Council (Agriculture and Fisheries) of 19 July 2004, the Dutch Presidency articulated the possible merits of enhanced cooperation between research funders and programme managers in the domain of Agriculture, Food, Rural Development and Fisheries. The delegations of the 25 EU Member States received a questionnaire aimed at producing an overview of the research funding structures, as well as the current and future policy and research priorities of each EU Member State in this field.

The meeting was attended by Commissioners Busquin and Fischler, who suggested considering the Standing Committee for Agriculture Research (SCAR) as the operational instrument for the implementation of possible common research agendas/activities to be set up at European level.

On the basis of Member States’ responses to the questionnaire, the Dutch Presidency drew up a report [ 1 MB] which was submitted to the 2619th session of the Council (Agriculture and Fisheries) of 22 November 2004 and the principal conclusions on the actions to be undertaken were unanimously adopted.


Following the 2619th session of the Council (Agriculture and Fisheries) of 22 November 2004, the Permanent Representations of the Member States were asked to nominate to the SCAR two national high-level representatives in charge of the national public agricultural research portfolio. The “new” SCAR decided that representatives from Candidate Countries (Croatia, Macedonia, Turkey) and Associated Countries (Albania, Iceland, Israel, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland) would participate as Observers in the SCAR meetings and be fully involved in its works. The SCAR members [ 103 kB] currently represent 37 countries.
What's New.

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  SCAR meetings.

The SCAR plenary meetings are normally organised twice a year. Thirteen meetings have been held so far since February 2005.

The next meeting is scheduled on: [read more]
  Contact info.

The SCAR committee is supported by a Secretariat with staff from the Commission's Directorate-General for Research and staff made available to SCAR from Member States (‘virtual secretariat’). The Secretariat is in charge of the preparation and follow-up of forum meetings (e.g. coordination of the agenda, invitation, documents for the meeting, minutes) and provides assistance to the working groups.
Contact person: François Constantin.