CREST will study the implementation and development of coordination with national policies, particularly by means of exchanges of information. Specific issues will also be examined such as, in the first six months, the internationalisation of RTD, its institutional funding arrangements, and transfrontier cooperation within the national RTD programmes. CREST will also be consulted on various issues relating to the 5th Framework Programme, such as the S/T cooperation agreements with non-EU countries and the Action Plan for Innovation.
The external advisory
groups will continue to advise the Commission on the first steps
to implement the key actions. The five-year assessment of Community
research will start in the second half of this year in order to
be completed in 2000.
As requested by the Council Presidency, in 1999 the Commission will also initiate discussions on European research after the 5th Framework Programme, including topics such as cooperation and reinforcing the synergies between the Framework Programme and the Member States' RTD policies. Its forward studies will continue in particular under the key action on "improving the socioeconomic knowledge base",29 in conjunction with the JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies ("Futures" project) and with the Forward Studies Unit ("Scenarios 2010"). The study on the costs and benefits of Community research launched at the initiative of the European Parliament's Scientific and Technological Options Assessment (STOA) office will, in turn, provide further input for this debate.
All these activities
will pave the way for adapting Community research to the Europe
of post-2002: a Europe in the process of enlargement within an increasingly
integrated world where the Union's scientific and technological
excellence and capacity to innovate are likely to be more crucial
than ever in order to build and uphold a European model striking
a balance between competitiveness and cohesion, quality of life
29- Strategic analysis of science and technology policies (STRATA).