Monday, 12 January 2009

EU Law: Commission Annual RTD Report

Annually – although not at the beginning of each year – the Commission presents a report on research and technological development (RTD) activities to the European Parliament and to the Council.

Reports such as this can sound boring, but to students and other interested persons they are valuable resources. These reports offer both quick overviews and distilled knowledge about the policy area in question.

So, if research, technological development, innovation, the FP7 or the like is up your alley, read on.

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Article 173 TEC


Article 173 (ex Article 130p) of the current Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC) contains an obligation for the Commission to report on research and technological development (RTD) activities and dissemination of results during the previous year. The report shall include the work programme for the current year.

This report is supposed to be sent at the beginning of each year, to the European Parliament and the Council.

Here is Article 173 TEC, as published in the latest consolidated version of the treaties, OJEU 29.12.2006 C 321 E/123:


Article 173 TEC

At the beginning of each year the Commission shall send a report to the European Parliament and to the Council. The report shall include information on research and technological development activities and the dissemination of results during the previous year, and the work programme for the current year.


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Original Lisbon Treaty (ToL)

Article 2, point 142 inserted a new Article 172a and point 143 amended Article 174 (OJEU 17.12.2007 C 306/86–87).

No specific amendment concerned Article 173 TEC.


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Renumbering the Treaty of Lisbon (ToL)

(As we have noted earlier, the Table of equivalences of the original Treaty of Lisbon tells us that Title XVIII first became Title XVIII with the addition of space in the TFEU (ToL), and later renumbered Title XIX Research and technological development and space in the consolidated version.)

Article 173 TEC first became Article 173 TFEU (ToL), but was then renumbered Article 190 TFEU in the consolidated version of the Lisbon Treaty (OJEU 17.12.2007 C 306/217–218).


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Lisbon Treaty consolidated

Article 190 TFEU

The Article was renumbered, but apart from that it is one of the fairly rare instance of a provision where not a single word is changed. Article 190 TFEU appears like this in the consolidated version of the Treaty of Lisbon (OJEU 9.5.2008 C 115/132):

(TITLE XIX
RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT AND SPACE)


Article 190
(ex Article 173 TEC)

At the beginning of each year the Commission shall send a report to the European Parliament and to the Council. The report shall include information on research and technological development activities and the dissemination of results during the previous year, and the work programme for the current year.



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Annual report

The beginning of the year must be given a liberal interpretation and, perhaps, be seen as unrealistic with regard to gathering and processing the data necessary for a meaningful retrospective report. Anyway, the latest annual RTD report based on Article 173 TEC was published 18 August 2008.

The latest Report from the Commission Annual Report on research and technological development activities of the European Union in 2007 (Brussels, 18.8.2008 COM(2008) 519 final), is available here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2008:0519:FIN:EN:PDF

The eleven pages of Annual Report are a useful summary of policy initiatives concerning the European Research Area (ERA) and the first year of implementation of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) as well as key findings on funding etc.

The Annual RTD Report was accompanied by a Staff Working Document:
Commission Staff Working Document Accompanying the Report from the Commission Annual Report on research and technological development activities of the European Union in 2007 (Brussels, 18.8.2008 SEC(2008) 2380 final). The 121 pages present a more detailed picture of individual research programmes and activities:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=SEC:2008:2380:FIN:EN:PDF


In the European Parliament the Industry, Research and Energy Committee is responsible for the evaluation. The Council reference to the documents is number 12554/08. No indications of follow-up have been indicated to date.


Ralf Grahn