Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

_Agreement on Seventh Framework Programme for scientific research 2007-2013

Research and innovation – 14-11-2006

The Industry Committee adopted on Monday second reading compromise amendments on the Seventh Framework Research Programme (FP7), which had been agreed in informal meetings with the Council. The EU??s main programme for funding scientific research, running for seven years from 2007 to 2013, with a budget of more than ?Ñ50 billion, should therefore be able to enter into force soon, if the next plenary session follows the committee’s line.

The Council’s common position had already taken on board a large number of Parliament’s first reading amendments, including amendments aimed at encouraging participation of small and medium-sized firms and boosting the position of young researchers and women in science, as well as how to deal with stem cell research. The 39 new compromise amendments deal with the remaining issues which MEPs in the committee still wished to emphasise, including Parliament’s priorities, the structure of the European Research Council and the proposed Risk Sharing Facility. Members also stress that no money from FP7 should be used to finance the proposed European Institute of Technology.

Parliament’s priorities

Members insisted on shifting some of the spending towards Parliaments own priorities, including research on renewable energy and energy efficiency as well as including the possibility of funding research on children’s health, respiratory diseases (including those induced by allergies), plus research into neglected diseases.

The compromise states that renewables and end use energy efficiency will account for the “major part” of the budget of FP7’s energy theme – rather than the two thirds proposed in Parliament’s first reading. Special attention will be devoted to coordination of issues linked to rational and efficient use of energy within the Framework Programme and in other EU policies and programmes.

European Research Council

A compromise was reached concerning the European Research Council – a new body to support investigator-driven ?¨frontier research?Æ. It was agreed that the administration costs of the ERC should not exceed 5% of its total budget in order to maximise funding for frontier research – in its first reading Parliament had asked for a limit of 3%. On the issue of the extent to which the Parliament should be involved in an interim evaluation of the ERC’s structure, it was agreed that the codecision procedure would be used if changes in the structure of the ERC become necessary.
Risk sharing facility

The Risk Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF), designed to encourage bank lending to research projects, was also the subject of a compromise. While the Council had planned to allocate ?Ñ1 billion from FP7 to finance the RSFF (which is to be matched by an equal amount from the European Investment Bank), the compromise provides for a lower contribution from FP7 until 2010 – ?Ñ500 million – with the possibility of releasing up to an additional ?Ñ500 million after an evaluation process.

European Institute of Technology

The committee stressed its strong conviction that no funds under the FP7 programme should contribute to the establishment and/or administrative costs of the proposed European Institute of Technology. Only administrative costs directly associated with research projects may be covered.

  • Rules for participation*

The committee also endorsed a compromise package on the implementing rules for participation of undertakings, research centres and universities in activity under the Seventh Framework Programme, along the lines proposed by its rapporteur Philippe Busquin (PES, BE). Since the committee had already, on 12 September, adopted a report by Mr Busquin on the compromise reached between rapporteur and shadow rapporteurs with the Council on this issue, this will be “translated” into second reading amendments to be put to the vote at the November II plenary session in Brussels.

Note on the size of budget

The overall budget planned for the Seventh Framework Programme in the Financial Perspective for 2007 to 2013 is ?Ñ54 582 million in current prices. Of this, ?Ñ50 521 million is allocated for the European Community programme and ?Ñ2 751 million for Euratom programme which runs from 2007 to 2011. A further ?Ñ1 310 million is indicatively planned for the Euratom programme for 2012-2013m but this will need to be confirmed at a later stage.


Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

Chair : Giles Chichester (EPP-ED, UK)

Procedure: Co-decision, second reading

Plenary vote: November II, Brussels

REF.: 20061113IPR12609

Constanze Beckerhoff

Press Service

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Author: EARSC

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