HC Deb 20 October 1998 vol 317 c1081W
Mr. Plaskitt

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the outcome of the EU Research Council on 13 October. [55993]

Mr. Mandelson

Lord Sainsbury, Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Science, represented the UK at the meeting of the EU Research Council on 13 October. The Council made further useful progress in the legislative process for the Fifth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP5), maintaining momentum in the tight timetable for introducing FP5 at the beginning of 1999. Though formal agreement was not possible at this stage, informal agreement was reached on the scientific and technological content of three of the specific programmes which set out FP5's research priorities in detail. The Council also agreed Decisions on the mandate for negotiating terms of association with FP5 with the countries seeking accession to the EU, on the conclusion of an agreement for scientific and technological co-operation between the European Community and the United States, and on amendments to the statutes of the Joint European Torus Joint Undertaking (JET), through which the EU pursues nuclear fusion research.