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The third EUREKA Conference of Ministers, at which the European Community will be represented by Commission Vice-President Karl-Heinz NARJES alongside ministers from 18 European countries, is to take place in London on Monday, 30 June next (see annex 1). The most important items on the agenda for the Conference will be: - progress of EUREKA - procedure for EUREKA projects - EUREKA secretariat - the European market. Progress of EUREKA The Commission has supported the EUREKA initiative from the start and is participating fully in its continuing development. It believes that Community programmes and the EUREKA projects are complementary to one another and constitute a whole directed at a single objective - strengthening of the scientific and technological base of European industry and the development of its international competitiveness, leading in turn to increased employment and prosperity in Europe. Their complementarity stems from the top-down, precompetitive nature of Community R+D and the bottom-up, close to the market aspect of EUREKA projects. There are various contributions which the Commission can make, on behalf of the Community, to enable the potential of the EUREKA initiative to be fully realized. Community participation in EUREKA projects So far, well over 100 projects have been submitted to the Group of High Representatives. Only 10, however, have been officially accepted by the Conference of Ministers. The Commission services have analysed the proposals to establish how they relate to Community R+D activities, considering in particular to which extent they are of a precompetitive nature. This has enabled the Commission to express an interest in participating in various forms in 5 projects: - 2 - - EU 7 EUROTRAC concerning tools for modelling and observing atmospheric pollution - EU 8 COSINE concerning the establishment of a communication network for research in Europe - EU 37 EUROMAR concerning the application of new technologies to the study of marine ecosystems - EU 45 PROMETHEUS concerning the use of information technology in road safety - EU 95 HDTV concerning high definition TV systems based on European standards These projects all have a continental dimension and tie in with existing Community initiatives, e.g. promotion and adoption of standards which have been developed in Europe. A further 30 or so projects on the agenda of the Conference are being closely examined by the Commission. In any event, Community participation will be determined on a case by case basis in agreement with industrial partners involved and bearing in mind the interaction of projects with current Community R+D programmes. This is best achieved if the Commission participates in the definition phase of any particcular project. Where there is a risk of considerable overlapping or duplication of effort the Commission believes that it is essential to hold a preliminary concertation with interested partners. Industrial Fora The Hanover Declaration of Principles suggests the establishment of industrial fora in certain sectors as a help in identifying possible EUREKA projects. Recognizing this as a means to further cooperation between industrial companies in general and small and medium-sized enterprises in particular, the Commission has already proposed the organisation in the autumn of a seminar on gallium arsenide integrated circuits to be attended by all interested parties. On 17 June the Commission sponsored a colloquium on the interface between Community competition policy and S/T cooperation agreements between companies in different Member States. EUREKA Secretariat In Hanover the setting up of a EUREKA secretariat was agreed in principle. Its tasks are defined as 1) clearing house for collection and dissemination between High Representatives of information on - proposals seeking partners - other proposals - details of projects. It is to keep a data-base for this purpose. 2) assistance to enterprises and institutes 3) support for all EUREKA meetings, including the industrial fora, and provision of information about meetings. - 3 - The Commission intends to sign on 30 June together with the 18 countries a Memorandum of Understanding establishing this secretariat. This would entail Community participation in the financing of the operating costs for the secretariat and the secondment of a Commission official to its full-time professional staff. In addition, the Commission has suggested that the electronic information exchange system (EUROKOM) developed for the ESPRIT programme may be used by the EUREKA secretariat. The European Market Creating the large internal market by 1992 is a major objective for the Commission. EUREKA can give a further impetus to this European Market. In this way the Commission can provide important additional measures as called for in the EUREKA Charter. These measures can be summarized as: - free movement of goods - removal of technical barriers to trade - setting European performance standards - opening up publicc purchasing - associating prospective buyers (esp. governments) with EUREKA product R+D - setting health, safety and environment standards with reference to EUREKA - creating a research workers' Europee - protection of industrial property rights- harmonisation of company law.