Friday, 9 January 2009

EU Law: Joint research undertakings

The current Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC) offers the flexible opportunity to set up joint undertakings or any other structure necessary for the efficient execution of European Community (European Union) research, technological development and demonstration programmes.

After a slow start, five joint research undertakings, also known as Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs), have been created since December 2007 under the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7).

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Article 171 TEC

Article 171 (ex Article 130n) of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC) provides an option for the European Community to set up joint undertakings. The flexibility is increased further be the addition of any other structure.

These undertakings or structures must be necessary for the efficient execution of Community research, technological development and demonstration programmes.

This option is not directly linked to the current framework programme or restricted to its life-cycle, which means that permanent undertakings and structures are possible.

For a long time this treaty provision remained a dead letter, but with the development of EC (EU) research activities, it has come to increasing use (as we will see).


The current Article 171 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC), as published in the latest consolidated version of the treaties, OJEU 29.12.2006 C 321 E/122:

(TITLE XVIII
RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT)


Article 171 TEC

The Community may set up joint undertakings or any other structure necessary for the efficient execution of Community research, technological development and demonstration programmes.


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Original Lisbon Treaty (ToL)

Article 2, point 141 amended Article 170 TEC and point 142 inserted a new Article 172a (OJEU 17.12.2007 C 306/86).

In other words, Article 171 TEC underwent no specific amendment.




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Renumbering the Treaty of Lisbon (ToL)

(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 171 TEC initially became Article 171 TFEU (ToL) before the renumbering of the treaty made it into Article 187 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 187 TFEU

The ‘Community’ was twice replaced by the ‘Union’ (horizontal amendment) and the Article was renumbered. Article 187 TFEU appears like this in the consolidated version of the Treaty of Lisbon (OJEU 9.5.2008 C 115/131):

(TITLE XIX
RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT AND SPACE)


Article 187 TFEU
(ex Article 171 TEC)

The Union may set up joint undertakings or any other structure necessary for the efficient execution of Union research, technological development and demonstration programmes.


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FP7 – Seventh Framework Programme (2007–2013)


Decision No 1982/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013), published in OJEU 30.12.2006 L 412/1, includes a few references to Article 171 TEC. The FP7 is available here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2006:412:0001:0041:EN:PDF



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Research infrastructures proposal

The Commission has made the Proposal for a Council Regulation on the Community legal framework for a European Research Infrastructure (ERI), Brussels, 25.7.2008 COM(2008) 467 final.

In the Commission’s view, the legal framework for a European Research Infrastructure is designed to facilitate the joint establishment and operation of research facilities of European interest between several Member States and countries associated to the Community R&D Framework Programme. It is being developed in response to requests from the Member States and the scientific community, because the available national and international legal forms are not fully adequate.

The legal base of the Regulation would be Article 171 TEC. The proposed Article 1 of the Regulation presents the intended scope:


Article 1
Subject-matter and scope

1. This Regulation establishes a framework laying down the requirements and procedures for and the effects of setting up a European Research Infrastructure (hereinafter referred to as "ERI").

2. It shall apply to research infrastructures of pan-European interest.


The Commission’s ERI proposal is available here:

http://ec.europa.eu/research/press/2008/pdf/com_2008_467_en.pdf


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Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs)

One of the concepts in the area of joint undertakings is Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs), with the following description given on one of the Commission’s web pages:

JTIs aim to achieve greater strategic focus by supporting common ambitious research agendas in areas that are crucial for competitiveness and growth, assembling and coordinating at European level a critical mass of research. They therefore draw on all sources of R&D investment - public or private - and couple research tightly to innovation.


Source: Joint Technology Initiatives (web page):

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/tl/research/priv_invest/jti/index_en.htm


Cordis offers more comprehensive information about Joint Technology Initiatives, under the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7), and subtitled Public-Private Partnerships in EU Research:


http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/jtis/



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Galileo

The first European Community joint research undertaking set up pursuant to Article 171 TEC, was Galileo.

Council Regulation (EC) No 876/2002 of 21 May 2002 setting up the Galileo Joint Undertaking
(originally published OJ 28.5.2002 L 138/1). The consolidated Regulation is available here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CONSLEG:2002R0876:20061222:EN:PDF


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New joint ventures

Since the beginning of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) the establishment of new joint undertakings has boomed as a promising sign of intensifying EU research efforts.


Clean Sky Joint Undertaking

Council Regulation (EC) No 71/2007 of 20 December 2007 setting up the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking, published OJEU 4.2.2008 L 30/1 (but later corrigenda), is available here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:030:0001:0020:EN:PDF


Introducing the concept Joint Technology Initiative (JTI), the Regulation sets up a joint undertaking within the meaning of Article 171 TEC:

Article 1
Setting up of a Joint Undertaking

1. For the implementation of the Joint Technology Initiative on Clean Sky, a Joint Undertaking within the meaning of Article 171 of the Treaty is hereby set up for the period up to 31 December 2017 (hereinafter referred to as the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking).

2. Its seat shall be located in Brussels, Belgium.


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ENIAC

Council Regulation (EC) No 72/2008 of 20 December 2007 setting up the ENIAC Joint Undertaking, originally published OJEU 4.2.2008 L 30/21. The consolidated version is available here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CONSLEG:2008R0072:20080207:EN:PDF

The joint undertaking was based on Articles 171 and 172 TEC:

Article 1
Establishment of a Joint Undertaking

1. For the implementation of the Joint Technology Initiative (hereinafter JTI) on nanoelectronics, a Joint Undertaking within the meaning of Article 171 of the Treaty (hereinafter the ENIAC Joint Undertaking) is hereby set up for a period up to 31 December 2017.

2. The seat of the ENIAC Joint Undertaking shall be located in Brussels, Belgium.


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IMI

Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2008 of 20 December 2007 setting up the Joint Undertaking for the implementation of the Joint Technology Initiative on Innovative Medicines, published OJEU 4.2.2008 L 30/38, is accessible here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:030:0038:0051:EN:PDF


The IMI Regulation was based on Articles 171 and 172 TEC:

Article 1
Establishment of a Joint Undertaking

1. A Joint Undertaking for the implementation of the Joint Technology Initiative on Innovative Medicines is hereby set up for a period up to 31 December 2017 (hereinafter referred to as IMI Joint Undertaking).

2. The seat of the IMI Joint Undertaking shall be located in Brussels, Belgium.


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ARTEMIS

Council Regulation (EC) No 74/2008 of 20 December 2007 on the establishment of the ‘ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking’ to implement a Joint Technology Initiative in Embedded Computing Systems, originally published =JEU4.2.2008 L 30/52, but the consolidated version is available here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CONSLEG:2008R0074:20080207:EN:PDF

The Artemis Regulation was based on Articles 171 and 172 TEC:

Article 1
Establishment of a Joint Undertaking

1. For the implementation of the Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) on Embedded Computing Systems, a Joint Undertaking within the meaning of Article 171 of the Treaty, hereinafter referred to as the ‘ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking’, is hereby set up for a period up to 31 December 2017.

2. The seat of the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking shall be located in Brussels, Belgium.


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Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH)

Council Regulation (EC) No 521/2008 of 30 May 2008 setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, published OJEU 12.6.2008 L 153/1, is available here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:153:0001:0020:EN:PDF

The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking Regulation was based on Articles 171 and 172 TEC:

Article 1
Establishment

1. For the implementation of the Joint Technology Initiative (hereinafter referred to as JTI) on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen, a Joint Undertaking within the meaning of Article 171 of the Treaty (hereinafter referred to as the FCH Joint Undertaking) is hereby set up for a period up to 31 December 2017.

2. The seat of the FCH Joint Undertaking shall be located in Brussels, Belgium.








Ralf Grahn