major development in European Union research policy was the adoption
of the 5th Framework Programme1 for RTD activities (1998 to 2002)
by the European Parliament and the Council in December 1998. With
the new Framework Programme Community research is adapted to the
context created by the launch of the single currency and the start
of accession negotiations with a view to enlargement of the Union:
a Europe showing greater economic integration, better equipped
to forge common responses to the globalisation of the economy
- but also of science and technology - and about to bring its
political contours closer to its cultural and historic frontiers;
a Europe where, however, employment is still the major challenge
and where the sectors and businesses creating large numbers of
high-quality jobs depend, increasingly, on science and technology,
for example activities connected with health care, information,
the environment or new technology-based services.
5th Framework Programme will contribute to harmonious construction
of such a Europe, alongside the other Community policies, particularly
the Action Plan for Innovation,2 with which the relationship
will be reinforced.
Unless otherwise stated, throughout this report "Framework Programme"
or "RTD Framework Programme" means the Framework Programme of the
European Community for research, technological development and demonstration
activities plus the Framework Programme of the European Atomic Energy
Community (Euratom) for research and training activities.
2- COM(96)589 final.