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
ESPRITs 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 Europes 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
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.