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NO:86 -;6 June 2007, Press Statement Regaring the Participation of Turkey in Community Programmes (Unofficial Translation)

 

European Union’s Community Programmes, which constitute an important element of the pre-accession strategy, are instruments for candidate countries to better get to know EU policies and their functioning principles. The legal framework for Turkey’s participation in the Community Programmes is provided by “The Framework Agreement on the General Principles for the participation of Turkey in Community Programmes”, which entered into force in 2002.

In practice, a Memorandum of Understanding is required to be signed between Turkey and the European Commission for participation in each of the Community Programmes. In this framework, “The Memorandum of Understanding between the European Community and the Republic of Turkey on the association of the Republic of Turkey to the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013)” was signed on 1 June 2007 in Brussels by Ambassador Volkan Bozkır, Permanent Delegate of Turkey to the EU, and Mr José Manuel Silva Rodriguez, Director General for Research of the European Commission.

Upon the signature of this Memorandum of Understanding, following the 6th Framework Programme of 2002-2006, Turkey will officially participate in the 7th Framework Programme, which covers the period from 2007 to 2013. It is the most important programme of the EU with its content and budget of 53.2 billion Euros. Turkey’s participation in the 6th Framework Programme played an important role in the provisional closure of the chapter “Science and Research” under the accession negotiations on 12 June 2006.

Major targets of the 7th Framework Programme are increasing the science and research capacity of Europe, improving the industrial competition by supporting innovation, and contributing to integration by encouraging cooperation.

It is expected that Turkey’s participation in the 7th Framework Programme will bring about a new dynamism in scientific and technical research, and also contribute to the further increase of qualified research activities towards technological improvement, to the increase of the research and innovation capacity of the Turkish industry and business community, to providing Turkish scientists with new perspectives and to efforts for integration into Europe with additional opportunites for orientation of Turkish scientific community towards Europe. Under the Programme, in order to achieve integration into the European Research Area, Turkey will have the opportunity to cooperate with the EU in fields such as transport, energy, earthquakes, civilian security, water, sea, bio/nano technology.

A country-specific Action Plan for Turkey has been prepared with the European Commission to raise the visibility and success rate of Turkey in the Programme and also to achieve efficiency on thematic programmes. The Action Plan will initially cover the period of 2007-2008.

Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been in intense contacts with the European Commission throughout the process of decision-making on participation in the Programme and also contributed to the preparation of both the Memorandum of Understanding and the Action Plan.

7th Framework Programme will be conducted under the coordination of The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK).