Consensus in two of the legislative proposals of Horizon 2020 and the adoption of both Council conclusions on Key Enabling Technologies and the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials, as well as a resolution on the European Consumer Agenda, are among the expected outcomes of discussions at the Competitiveness Council to be held in Luxembourg, on the 10th and 11th of October.
On Wednesday, October 10, the Competitiveness Council (Research) will be chaired by the Cypriot Minister of Health Dr. Stavros Malas, who has the responsibility for the research portfolio during the Cyprus Presidency, whereas Thursday’s Competitiveness Council (Industry) will be chaired by the Cypriot Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Mr. Neoklis Sylikiotis.
Research and Innovation
During Wednesday’s meeting, chaired by Dr. Malas, EU Research Ministers will discuss two legislative proposals of the programme "Horizon 2020", the new EU funding programme for research and innovation for the period 2014-2020. These proposals concern the amended Regulation of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and the Regulation laying down the Rules for participation and dissemination in Horizon 2020. In yesterday's press conference, Dr. Malas was optimistic for reaching consensus in the Council for these two Regulations of Horizon 2020. He stressed that the timing of achieving such a consensus is crucial, in order to achieve a timely completion of discussions in the Council on the entire package of legislative proposals for Horizon 2020, since in 4 of these proposals is required a co-decision with the European Parliament.
In the afternoon session, Ministers will exchange views on the actions that need to be undertaken for the completion of the European Research Area, taking into account two recent announcements from the European Commission on the issue as well as the questions prepared by the Cyprus Presidency to facilitate this discussion.
Also, during the working lunch, Ministers will discuss the role of the European Strategic Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and the need for a renewed and enhanced mandate for this Forum, so as to enable this group to proceed with the prioritization of the 48 research infrastructures projects included in the ESFRI Roadmap.
Industry and Internal Market
At Thursday’s session, to be chaired by Minister Sylikiotis, the Council is expected to adopt conclusions on Key Enabling Technologies and the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials, both areas of enormous potential for economic growth and job creation in Europe.
Additionally, ministers will exchange views on the European Industrial Policy, starting off their debate with three Communications by the European Commission regarding growth and economic recovery, the strategy for achieving the sustainable competitiveness of the construction sector and its enterprises, as well as the promotion of the cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs in the EU. The aim of the discussions is to update the Industrial Policy Flagship Initiative of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
Regarding consumer protection, the Council is expected to adopt a resolution on the European Consumer Agenda, intended to set clear policy priorities for, inter alia, reinforcing consumer safety, enhancing knowledge, improving enforcement and securing redress, and, finally, aligning policy to societal change and making it relevant to daily life, in particular by adapting consumer law to the digital age.
In the afternoon, the Council will review the state of play of the twelve key measures included in the Single Market Act I, discussing the ways to speed up adoption. They will also be briefed by the Commission on the priority proposals included in the Single Market Act II, which was adopted on October 3rd 2012.
Finally, during the working lunch, ministers will have the opportunity to discuss ways of improving the working methods of the Competitiveness Council, with a view to enhancing its effectiveness.
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