Shaping the future of research
Plans to integrate pre-accession countries into
the EU are moving apace at many social, economic and financial
levels. Integration of science and research into EU programmes
is complete thanks to joint working arrangements and projects
undertaken by the Member States and pre-accession country scientists.
Much of this forward planning is down to the success of INCO's
programmes and initiatives.
Restructuring the science base of these countries
to better reflect the needs and priorities of European research
policy has been the main task.
EU support to 34 existing and independent institutes
in pre-accession countries has positively contributed to widening
their activities as 'Centres of Excellence'. Strong links have
been made between these centres and similar bodies within the
EU through networking and twinning arrangements. This has improved
the centres' abilities to direct research strategy for the social
and economic good of their regions across the natural and social
science sectors, including: biosciences, medicine, environment,
engineering, materials technologies, physics, information and
communications technology, and socio-economics.
The 'awareness and training' initiative concerning
the Fifth Framework Programme activities supports existing dissemination
networks in all pre-accession countries, providing substantial
help for their integration into networks capable of representing
and reaching relevant scientific communities.
Financial support has also been provided to
the organisers of conferences and workshops to allow the participation
of pre-accession countries' researchers in high-level European