§ Mr. Gerald Bowden
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what progress was made at the meeting of the Research Council of European Community Ministers on 15 December; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Newton
I represented Her Majesty's Government at the meeting of the Community's Council of Ministers (Research) in Brussels on 15 December.
The Council adopted a common position on Joule, a Community programme of research in the field of non-nuclear energy and efficient use of energy supplies with Community funding of 122 million ecu (£79 million) over 39 months. The programme will cover rational use of energy including energy efficiency, conservation and storage, renewable energy sources including solar, wind and geothermal, and research into hydrocarbons and the better use of solid fuels.
The Council also adopted a common position on a new Brite/Euram research programme combining research previously carried out under separate programmes in the fields of industrial technologies and advanced materials. The programme will provide Community funding of 499.5 million ecu (£324 million) over four years with the aim of helping to improve the competitive position of the Community's manufacturing industries. A total of 35 million ecu (£23 million) of the total will be devoted to aeronautical research.