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Ministers want to limit number of research funding instruments

The Council of Ministers, which represents member states in the EU, demands a limit to the introduction of new research funding instruments to avoid duplication in funding programmes.

In a statement responding to a European Commission consultation on “Partnering in Research and Innovation”, published on 27 September, the Council also says it wants to be consulted before the European Commission sets up new research funding instruments.

“Having in mind the recommendation of the evaluation of FP7 for a moratorium on new instruments, unless fully justified, [the Council of Ministers] invites the Commission to consult the member states in a timely manner whenever the Commission considers new instruments in the future and rationalisation of the range of the existing ones, including possible mergers,” the Council says in its draft response.

The Council says that mergers can be considered to avoid duplication and overlapping between research schemes, and that funding instruments should generally be better linked to each other. For example, Joint Programming Initiatives should seek “synergies” with the Framework Programme, the Council suggests.

The draft conclusions were prepared by the Polish presidency and discussed at a Council meeting on 14 November. They include views on public-public partnerships, such as ERA-Net or Joint Programming schemes, and public-private partnerships, including Joint Technology Initiatives.

The final version of the conclusions will be adopted at the Competitiveness Council meeting on 5 and 6 December.