Next year, the EU is set to expand from 15 to 25 member states, with further countries joining a few years later. As part of their preparations for membership, the candidate countries are already participating in many EU activities. In the field of research, the enlargement is already a reality. The strong scientific traditions in the candidate countries enrich and strengthen our research community.

Fusion research, funded through the Euratom Framework Programme, is well along the road to bringing these countries into substantial, long-term collaborations. Contracts of Association with Euratom have been estab- lished in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia and Romania, while Bulgaria, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia participate by means of Cost-Sharing contracts on specific projects. Since they contribute to the global pool of funds, researchers and organisations in these countries can apply for funding on equal terms with researchers in the Member States. The Associations in the candidate countries are also members of EFDA. In all countries, co-operation is promoted by the Agreement on Staff Mobility and a fellowship scheme supports the involvement of young scientists in fusion research. (

The integration of the fusion research activities of the new partners into the programme is proving successful. Not only are their researchers involved in the collective use of JET, in work on other large European fusion devices and facilities, as well as in technology activities under EFDA, which offer them world-class research opportunities, but the expertise of their laboratories also attracts the interest of researchers from all over Europe.

At the National Institute of Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics (within the Romanian Association) a laboratory for micro-tomography has been established with Community support. Here it is possible to undertake non-destructive testing of materials with on-line threedimensional interpretation during the exposure of samples. A further interesting example concerns the preparation, based on considerable experience in liquid metal magnetohydrodynamics in the University of Latvia, of an experiment to study a liquid metal limiter (as a possible alternative to having solid materials in contact with the plasma) in collaboration with the Portuguese Association Euratom-IST. On the Castor tokamak of the Institute for Plasma Physics (Prague, Czech Republic) preparations are being made for edge plasma diagnostics and experiments on larger fusion devices in collaboration with scientists from a number of Associations. Building on its experience of implementing and operating diagnostics on a number of fusion devices, the Hungarian Association (HAS), in collaboration with others, is further developing the technique of beam emission spectroscopy with accelerated Lithium and Helium beams for plasma density and turbulence measurements. The HAS is also carrying out studies on the tomographic reconstruction of the radiation profile from bolometry measurements for ITER.

The expertise of these and other institutes and the established collaborations on fusion physics and technology are a good basis on which to build enhanced involvement of our new partners in the developments needed for the construction and future exploitation of ITER.

Bulgaria: Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski,

Bulgarian Academy of Science,

Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy – IRNE, Sofia,

Association Euratom- IPP.CR (Czech Republic): Institute of Plasma Physics,

Association Euratom-HAS (Hungary): KFKI-RMKI Dept of Plasma Physics,

Budapest University of Technology and Economics,

Association Euratom-Univ. of Latvia (Latvia): Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Latvia, Riga,

Institute of Latvian Academy of Sciences, Salaspils,

Association Euratom-MEC (Romania): Institute of Atomic Physics

Slovak Republic:
Comenius University Bratislava, Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics

Slovak University of technology

Slovak academy of Sciences, Institute of Elecrical Engineering

Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljublijana,