WRITTEN QUESTION E-0671/03 by Caroline Lucas (Verts/ALE) to the Commission. Chemical testing.
OJ C 268E , 7.11.2003, p. 118–120 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)
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WRITTEN QUESTION E-0671/03
by Caroline Lucas (Verts/ALE) to the Commission
(7 March 2003)
Subject: Chemical testing
In its resolution on the White Paper: Strategy for a future Chemicals Policy(1), the European Parliament called for more resources to be provided immediately to accelerate the development and validation of further scientifically
reliable, recognised and standardised alternative tests to replace animal tests in the implementation of the new system. However, funding provision for development and validation of new tests frequently lacks transparency, especially with respect to Member State contributions.
Could the Commission give details of current funding allocations for both development and validation of new non-animal tests from the following sources: (1) The Sixth Framework Programme for Research, (2) the Joint Research Centre (ECVAM budget), and (3) Member State contributions?
The UK Government claims that it contributes to the development and validation of alternatives through the EU, but does not make clear how much is contributed or how funds are allocated. Could the Commissioner quantify Member State contributions to EC funding of alternatives research over the past year, giving exact figures for each Member State contribution? Most specifically, how much money has been contributed to the Commission for the funding of development and validation of new non-animal tests by the UK over the past year?
(1) OJ C 140 E, 13.6.2002, p. 552.
Answer given by Mr Busquin on behalf of the Commission
(22 April 2003)
The development of alternative methods will be funded in the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) of the Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities, contributing to the creation of the European Research Area and to innovation (2002 to 2006). Two specific parts of the Framework Programme will support the development of novel alternative, non-animal testing methods: Development of new in-vitro tests to replace animal experimentation (Thematic Priority 1 Life Sciences, Genomics and Biotechnology for Health)(1), and Development of alternative in vitro testing methods and strategies for chemical substances (Specific activities covering a wider field of research Policy support and anticipating scientific and technological needs)(2), the deadlines for submissions are of 25 and 12 March 2003, respectively. Financial participation by the Community will be granted in compliance with the principle of co-financing, with the exception of financing for studies, conferences and public tenders. This means that part of project costs shall be borne by the contractors themselves (Decision No 1513/2002/EC of the Parliament and of the Council concerning the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities, contributing to the creation of the European Research Area and to innovation (2002 to 2006)(3), Annex II. point 2). So far, no projects have been selected and first figures on actual project funding will not be available before the end of 2003.
Within Thematic Priority 1, the indicative budget allocated to all scientific areas of the Advanced Genomics and its applications for Health for the duration of the Framework Programme is EUR 1 100 million, which includes the development of alternatives to animal experimentation and testing. Similarly, the indicative budget allocated to all the topics covered by the Policy support and anticipating scientific and technological needs, including the one on alternatives in support of the chemicals policy is EUR 555 million for the duration of FP6.
The increased availability of alternative methods involves first new methods to be developed and then these methods to be validated. Primary responsibility for method development lies with the cosmetics and chemical industries. The Joint Research Centre's (JRC) role, through the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM), is in the validation of the new methods thus produced.
The financial resources available for ECVAM within the Multi-Annual Work Programme of the JRC for the period 2003-2006 are increased to EUR 35,2 millions. This budget is not currently considered to be a limiting factor in the validation of alternative methods. However, should the situation
change, the necessary flexibility to address the variable needs for scientific and technical support to Community policy development and implementation is built into the JRC resource allocation as the actual JRC work programme budget is reviewed annually in close collaboration with our user Directorates General of the Commission.
Member State contributions to the Community budget are not broken down and attributed to specific areas of expenditure, such as those mentioned in the question. It is, therefore, not possible to answer to this specific question.
(1) more information is available from the following http://www.cordis.lu/fp6/lifescihealth.htm.
(2) more information is available from the following http://www.cordis.lu/fp6/support.htm.
(3) OJ L 232, 29.8.2002.