EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Document 31998Y0520(01)

Resolution of the ECSC Consultative Committee on an increased implementation of coal and steel research within the fifth Community framework programme for RTD (1998 to 2002)

OJ C 155, 20.5.1998, p. 10–11 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)

In force


Resolution of the ECSC Consultative Committee on an increased implementation of coal and steel research within the fifth Community framework programme for RTD (1998 to 2002)

Official Journal C 155 , 20/05/1998 P. 0010 - 0011


(adopted unanimously less one abstention during the 339th Session of 2 April 1998)


referring to the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Decision concerning the fifth framework programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (1) and, in particular, the common position of the Council adopted on 12 February 1998,

recalling its resolution on the future of collaborative research in the coal and steel sectors adopted unanimously at the 336th session of 20 June 1997 (2),

recalling its resolution on the research fund decided on at the Amsterdam European Council of 16 June 1997, adopted unanimously at its plenary session of 10 October 1997 (3),

wishes to stress the following points:

1. the results of ECSC technical and social research have been shown by independent studies (4) (5) (6), which have revealed a considerable measure of profitability, to be extremely positive. It is essential that such an effective research instrument be maintained in the future;

2. the coal and steel industries have made in the past and are likely to make in the future substantial contributions to solving the problems facing our society. The two industries currently offer and will continue to offer numerous employment opportunities in the European Union. Very high-performance steels are being developed in all sectors which use steel. Steel is both from the economic and from the ecological point of view a high quality material. Coal is set to be an important raw material and a reliable energy source, especially for electricity production, for the Europe of tomorrow. Research on the treatment of acid fumes and other pollutants must therefore be intensified in order to make coal a 'green fuel` which no longer causes damage to the environment. Materials with new properties and technologies which have been or are being developed in the coal and steel industries will also lead to export opportunities on world markets. This is also true for the exports of downstream sectors of both industries. In this context, it has to be stressed that, as a consequence of the enlargement to countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the importance of coal and steel sectors will increase considerably;

3. the decision of the Council of Industry Ministers (7) not to extend the ECSC Treaty but to allow it to expire on 23 July 2002, at the end of the period for which it was concluded, has always gone hand-in-hand with a promise from the political authorities that the interests of the coal and steel industries, and of research in particular, would gradually be incorporated into the European Union's policies;

4. the experience of integrating the coal and steel sectors into the fourth framework programme was highly unsatisfactory, and for this reason it is now vital that coal and steel be accorded equal rights compared with other sectors for access to the fifth framework programme. In comparison with competing materials, coal and steel have a big potential for the future. The ECSC Consultative Committee welcomes the statement made by the Council that it is '. . . necessary to increase implementation within the framework programme of activities currently being carried out on the basis of the ECSC Treaty which expires in 2002` (8). The ECSC Consultative Committee also welcomes the fact that the research and technological development activities of a generic nature by developing new and improved materials and production technologies in the steel field have been maintained in full. Moreover, the ECSC Consultative Committee recommends that, in particular as part of the key action relating to an economic and efficient energy supply for a competitive Europe, the point referring to improved exploration, extraction and production efficiency of energy vectors should not be restricted to hydrocarbons, as indicated in the Council's common position, but should apply to all fossil fuels.

(1) Doc. COM(97) 142 final.

(2) OJ C 220, 19.7.1997, pp. 12-14.

(3) OJ C 356, 22.11.1997, pp. 6-7.

(4) 'Evaluation of the economic effects of the ECSC research programmes`, June 1994, report drawn up by Mr Trentini.

(5) 'Evaluation of the ECSC research programm`, September 1996, report drawn up by Smith Vincent & Co. and Geoffrey Walton Practice.

(6) 'ECSC social research`, 1996, report drawn up by Enrico Gibellieri et al.

(7) Conclusion of the Council of Industry Ministers of 24 November 1992.

(8) Doc. 6108/1/98, 24 March 1998.