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View the documentESPRIT: new projects launched for a total cost of ECU 690 million

ESPRIT: new projects launched for a total cost of ECU 690 million

107 new projects have been selected by the Commission for launching within the European Strategic Programme for Research and Development in Information Technology (ESPRIT). This is the result of a thorough evaluation by over 200 independent experts of the 450 submissions entered during ESPRIT’s latest general call for proposals. Also included are three projects forming part of the 18 - month start - up phase of JESSI (Joint European Sub Micron Silicon). JESSI is a Eureka initiative designed to strengthen Europe’s international competitiveness in the design, manufacture and application of a new generation of standard and customised microchips. In addition to the 107 new projects, 43 exploratory actions, comprising workshops, demonstrations and studies will be initiated to further increases the involvement of SMEs in the Esprit programme.

Negotiations are now starting with the companies, research institutes and universities involved, with the objective that work can start on most projects before the summer break.

Most of the projects are scheduled to be completed in three years or less, showing the dynamic European response to the accelerated pace of the international technology race. The total cost of the projects likely to result is about ECUS 690 million, half of which will be financed by the European Communities.

COUNCIL

Meeting of the Development Cooperation Council

During a meeting held at the end of May in Brussels, the Council of European Development Cooperation Ministers pursued its discussions on the need to draw up guidelines enabling environmental considerations to be better integrated into development cooperation, and to devote specific and appropriate means to this task.

On the basis of the discussions held and of a paper provided by the Commission services, the Council reconfirmed the conclusions reached on 6 November 1984 and 9 November 1987 on the need to integrate environment and development and on the means to be used to this end.

The Council recognised that it is for each country to determine its broad environment policies. However, it confirmed that all projects and programmes financed by the Community and the Member States in whatever sector should take into account at all stages their effect on the environment.

This may entail specific environmental safeguards agreed in conjunction with developing countries on individual aid projects and programmes.

The Council underlined that the environmentally sound and sustainable management of natural resources is of fundamental importance to developing countries. It further recognised that the enforcement of sound environmental policies is made more difficult by the lack of adequate technical and financial resources and that these policies face a serious challenge from the rapid and concentrated growth of population. Soil erosion, desertification, deforestation, air and water pollution and rapid urbanisation, are amongst the most pressing environmental problems facing those countries. These issues represent real barriers to economic growth and sustainable development and are priorities for development assistance.


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