10/12/2012 - 11/12/2012
Where: Justus Lipsius building, Brussels, Belgium
Topic: Business | Economy, finance, tax and competition | Environment, consumers and health | Science and technology
Organiser: Council of the EU
Industry and internal market:
Ministers will exchange views on the European industrial policy and its contribution to growth and economic recovery with a view to adopting conclusions. They will address the specific situation of the automotive industry.
They will also hold a debate on the modernisation of the state aid rules and their impact on EU competitiveness. The debate will follow a presentation by the Commission on the reform of state aid policy to be completed during 2013.
The Council will consider ways for improving the Union Customs Code with a view to facilitating commercial exchanges, whilst ensuring safe and secure trade of goods in the EU. In addition, the Council will be invited to agree on the basis for establishing an action programme for customs in the EU for the period 2014-2020 ("Customs 2020"), as the successor of "Customs 2013", which ends on 31 December 2013.
The afternoon will be devoted to policy debates and/or information reports regarding pending legislation included in the Single Market Act I package, which is made up of priority measures aimed at the completion of the single market by increasing confidence and stimulating growth and jobs creation. The issues to be dealt with might include the unitary patent protection package, the review of the professional qualifications directive, the accounting directive, the public procurement package and the alternative resolution system for consumer disputes.
Moreover, the Council will be invited to adopt conclusions on the second wave of priority proposals under the Single Market Act II, which was presented by the Commission on 3 October.
Research, innovation and space:
The meeting will start with the space policy part and a ministerial exchange of ideas on how to better develop the relationship between the EU and the European Space Agency (ESA). Under the research part of the agenda, the Council will be invited to adopt conclusions on key elements that will contribute to the completion of the European Research Area (ERA). The conclusions will take into account the recommendations addressed by the Commission last July and the ministerial exchange of views that took place on 10 October. ERA will be configured as a unified research area based on the principles of the EU's internal market and open to the world, in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology can circulate freely. Through ERA, the EU and its member states will strengthen their scientific and technological capacities and hence their competitiveness. Its development is one of the core elements of the EU 2020 strategy for the creation of economic growth and jobs.
The European Council called for the completion of ERA by 2014. The Council will also exchange views on ways and perspectives to enhance international cooperation in research and innovation.
After lunch, ministers will hold public deliberations on two legislative proposals which will be part of "Horizon 2020", the future framework programme for funding research and innovation for the years 2014 to 2020. These two pieces of legislation relate to the specific programme for the implementation of Horizon 2020 and the strategic innovation agenda of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The Council will endeavour to agree on the main elements of both proposals.
The decision establishing the specific programme aimed at implementing research projects under Horizon 2020 will define the following four objectives of the programme: excellent science, industrial leadership, societal challenges and non-nuclear activities carried-out by the EU's Joint
The Council will also take note of a report on the progress made regarding the Euratom proposal, which complements Horizon 2020 in the field of nuclear research.
A presidency briefing, agenda and background note will be published on the Council website closer to the date of the meeting.