on the principles behind the success of Community research and on
the experience gained in the course of the previous Framework Programmes,
the new Framework Programme provides appropriate responses to the
challenges of the new millennium through innovation on several fronts,
Streamlined structure bringing together the RTD themes under four
major programmes (excluding Euratom) instead of the 13 in the
4th Framework Programme (1994 - 1998).
Concentration of resources on integrated or coordinated RTD activities
meeting the priority needs of citizens and society; the main means
of achieving this is with multidisciplinary key actions which
account for over two thirds of the funding under the Framework
Programme and which cover all types of RTD, from basic research
to demonstration activities; these key actions are backed up by
generic RTD activities and support for research infrastructure.
Contribution of research to the Union's socioeconomic objectives,
by means of key actions to resolve specific issues, but also by
encouraging participation by SMEs which will receive at least
10% of the budget for the thematic programmes, plus revised rules
for participation laying down the selection criteria for projects
funded by the Community and attaching greater importance to take-up
and dissemination of results.
Greater transparency and closer involvement of all interested
parties, by improving the flow of information to the Council and
the European Parliament and with the aid of continuing advice
from the 17 External Advisory Groups for the key actions and/or
programmes; the Framework Programme will also benefit from advice
on ethical issues from the European Group on Ethics in Sciences
and New Technologies.
Association of the eleven countries which have applied to join
the Union,3 whose researchers will participate in the
5th (EC and, in the case of some countries, Euratom) Framework
Programme on the same eligibility and funding conditions as EU
teams, in return for contributions from these countries to the
New strategy for the Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC),
whose role of serving Union policies has been consolidated and
reinforced, with a work programme consequently focusing on research
serving the citizen, sustainability, European competitiveness
and nuclear safety.
Management tools which have been fully revamped for higher efficiency.
3- Plus Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Israel; and Switzerland, with which the EC Agreement must yet be ratified.