These new elements were included in the Commission's original proposal in April 1997 and then refined throughout 1998 in the course of the co-decision procedure on the EC Framework Programme.
The amended proposal submitted by the Commission on 14 January 1998 took account of the preliminary comments made by the European Parliament and the Council by including a separate thematic programme on energy, environment and sustainable development.
The common position agreed by the Council on 12 February (and officially adopted on 23 March) confirmed the agreement between the three institutions on the structure and principal characteristics of the Framework Programme, but also revealed differences on the total budget and, to a lesser extent, research priorities.
After the European Parliament confirmed, on second reading on 17 June, its wish to secure a total budget for the EC and Euratom Programmes well above the 14 billion euros proposed by the Council and to allocate a higher share of the resources to life sciences in particular, a conciliation committee was set up. After four meetings, on 17 November the committee reached agreement on the full Framework Programme, clearing the way for adoption by Parliament and the Council.4
Parallel discussions were conducted on the 5th Euratom Framework Programme, which was adopted by the Council on 22 December at the same time as the Framework Programme on non-nuclear research.5
Discussions also continued throughout the year on the specific programmes implementing the Framework Programme, enabling the Council to reach agreement on 22 December, after incorporating most of the amendments proposed by the European Parliament on 15 December. The specific programmes were formally adopted in January 1999.6
In the course of the discussions on the specific programmes, the role of the Programme Committees was confirmed and adapted to the 5th Framework Programme. The Commission will keep them regularly and fully informed of the measures taken to implement the specific programmes and the Committees will give their opinion on the RTD activities proposed, within the financial limits set, and will be able to devote more time than in the past to the strategic aspects.
4- Decision No 182/1999/EC, OJ L 26, 1.2.1999.
5- Decision 1999/64/Euratom, OJ L 26, 1.2.1999.
6- Decisions 1999/167/EC; 1999/168/EC; 1999/169/EC; 1999/170/EC; 1999/171/EC; 1999/172/EC; 1999/173/EC; 1999/174/EC; 1999/175/Euratom; 1999/176/Euratom,
OJ L 64, 12.3.1999.