In his welcome address G. Sergio, USF President, recalled the outcome of the Lisbon meeting in 2000 where the European Council agreed on a strategic goal for the present decade: ‘to become the most dynamic and competitive knowledge – based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion, and respect for the environment’. The introductory talk, entitled “Towards the 7th Framework Programme for Research” and focused on the Commission research policy, was given by R-J Smits, acting Director of DG RTD. After having highlighted the Commission’s proposal for a substantial increase (doubling) of the research budget for FP7 in order to meet the Lisbon objectives, R-J Smits presented the six key axes of the Commission’s policy: basic research and competitive funding; coordination of national programmes; research infrastructures; human resources; collaborative research and technology initiatives.

A workshop on the future of Scientific and Technological (S&T) research in Europe was held in Brussels the 9th and 10th of December last year. The aim of the workshop, organised by the Union Syndicale Federale (USF), was to foster a policydebate between scientists working in the Commission and intergovernmental research institutions on the Commission strategy document COM 353, published the 16 June 2004, entitled “Science and Technology, the key to Europe’s future”. More than 50 people attended the workshop at the Centre de Conference Albert Borchette. Among the invited speakers there were key persons and scientists from DG ADMIN, DG RTD, DG JRC, ESA and EUROCONTROL.

The largely positive results of the web based consultation among the European research community and stakeholders on the above topics were presented by C. de la Torre, also from DG RTD. Detailed information on the consultation can be downloaded from the DG Research web site. J. Gavigan, from DG RTD, focused in more depth on the necessity to increase investment in European research (3% GDP, of which 2/3 from private sector) to the level of research investments made in Japan and US. In the first thematic talk, assigned to EU nuclear energy research policy, M. Poireau, from DG RTD, stressed that “the issue of energy supply is so important that all potential options (fossil fuels, renewables, fission and fusion) should be developed. The morning session was concluded by S. Zoletnik (KFKI Research Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics Department of Plasma Physics, Budapest, Hungary) who gave a scientist’s panoramic view of S&T research in Hungary and New Member States.

For additional information

All the presentations will be available in due course at the USF web site:

A session was dedicated to personnel policy for research staff, 4th action programme for woman and man at the EC, women and science network at JRC, with talks given by: P. Keraudren, from DG RTD, C. Joly, from DG ADMIN and A. Paya-Perez, from DG JRC.

In their talks on the thematic session dedicated to the JRC J.-P. Malingreau, D. Albrecht and L. Debarberis, showed the intrinsic value and the unique contribution of the JRC at community level while participating to FP indirect actions and networks both in nuclear and non-nuclear activities. O. Comsa, from CITON, concluded the session with an overview of the Romanian Nuclear R&D and the planned steps towards EU integration.

The second day started with a session dedicated to European Space Policy and Air Traffic Control (ATC). L. Tytgat, from DG RTD, and M. Praet and J. Amador Monteverde, from ESA, presented to the audience the success achieved with a growing partnership between Commission and European Space Agency (ESA), in a sector of strategic technologies and future space applications at the service of the European citizens. J-M Garot, director of Eurocontrol Experimental Centre, presented a proposal, for a single European ATC system that would enhance flight safety and productivity.

Finally, in the session dedicated to thermonuclear fusion, Y. Capouet and T. Bonicelli, from DG RTD, presented the uniqueness of the European fusion programme, the leading position reached in fusion with JET and the key European role in design, construction and operation of ITER.

Among the key challenges of the EU future fusion programme Y. Capouet listed the followings: support the European procurement effort for ITER; prepare for the DEMO/PROTO steps (demonstration and prototype of a commercial reactor) attract and train scientific and engineering staff and promote involvement of industry. T. Bonicelli, presenting the point of view of the majority of EURATOM’s staff working in fusion, said: “ITER and, more in general, the development of fusion as a future source of energy require a stable organisation capable to steer the research with continuity and consistency over the long term. As a result of its farsighted and consistent policy, the Commission has, within its own staff, some of the most qualified fusion scientists and engineers worldwide. This potential of human resources must be exploited for the good of Europe and of the ITER project”.

Commission policy proposal – 6 Key Axes:

• Collaborative Research

• Technology Initiatives (new)

• Basic research competitive funding (new)

• Coordination of national programmes

• Research infrastructures

• Human resources

What’s next? An additional consultation on thematic domains for future EU support under FP7, with a deadline 31 December 2004, was undertaken by the Commission as part of its preparations for the proposal for FP7 which, according to R.-J. Smits and C. de la Torre, is due to be published in April this year. The publication of the proposal for EURATOM’s specific programme is foreseen for the 2nd semester 2005 – said Y. Capouet. Council and Parliament should adopt the EURATOM framework programme during the 2nd semester of 2006 in time for implementation on the 1st January 2007.

For more information see our EFDA website: and additionally

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editors: Federico Casci, Doris Lutz-Lanzinger

graphic design: Karen Jens

© M.Q.Tran (EFDA Leader) 2005.

This internal newsletter or parts of it may not be reproduced without permission. Text, pictures and layout, except where noted, courtesy of the EFDA Parties. Picture on page 8: Courtesy of APS.

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