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The European Commission


Quality of Life


Agricultural Research in the European Research Area


The Commission and the French ministry of agriculture under the auspices of the French Presidency of the E.U. are organising a series of three seminars which will focus on how to re-organise European agricultural research within the context of the structures proposed in the ERA Communication. The seminars deal with the following three themes deemed of crucial importance to the shape of any new EU agricultural research programme.

Seminar 1: "CAP and multifunctionality of agriculture in the European Research Area (ERA)"
Montpellier 23/24 October

The aim of this seminar is to identify how agricultural research within the context of the ERA can have more impact on the development and the implementation of the CAP. The specific objectives are to identify the scientific issues involved in the development of the CAP, and in support of multifunctional agriculture. To assess ways of co-operating with the adhesion countries on a research level, and to identify ways to restructure agricultural research accordingly.

  Seminar 3: "Agricultural and Environment in the ERA"
Rennes 6/7 November

The existence in the Europe over several decades of an agricultural policy based upon intervention to ensure high prices and guaranteed outlets helped harness the productive potential generated by technological progress for intensification and specialisation. This had a negative impact upon the environment, the countryside and the quality of certain foodstuffs. Intensification raises problems for the ecosystem bio-diversity and for soil, air and water quality. This seminar will thus aim to identify current problems and seek ways as to how Europe could benefit from an agriculture, which will use natural resources in a more sustainable way while retaining farming profitability. The proposals found within the ERA Communication could be instrumental here in deepening and intensifying the existing cross-collaboration by reinforcing complementary skills and resources and deepening collaboration and exchanges of scientists.


Seminar 2: "Genomic and the post genomic research in ERA"
Bordeaux 30/31 October

Genomic and post-genomic research as applied to agriculture has the potential to radically alter current farm production practices and the workings of the food industry. Europe as a whole has undeniable scientific strengths in this domain but has found it hard to keep pace with competitors in the USA and Japan due to a lack of co-ordination between National research programmes, weak infrastructures, and a shortage of skills in important areas such as bio-informatics. The objective of this seminar is therefore to address ways to alleviate these problems within the context of ERA by identifying centers of excellence, improving infrastructures and the training and mobility of researchers, and the opening of the national research programmes.

Versailles,  5-6 December



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