The activities under this section of the programme are diverse in their subject matter, and will be implemented in such a way as to ensure co-ordination across the various topics and complementarity with the thematic priority areas.
The tasks set out under each of research priorities headings often require addressing different disciplinary aspects, in view of the increasingly integrated nature of Community policies.
These activities have a distinct role within the overall architecture of the 6th framework programme 2002-2006. They involve common implementation arrangements, and the necessary critical mass, to assure efficient and flexible conduct of research, which is essential to the fundamental objectives of Community research and which covers a wide range of needs that cannot be satisfied within the thematic priorities.
The policy-orientated research will provide support for:
- The common agricultural policy (CAP), and the common fisheries policy (CFP);
- Sustainable development, in particular the Community policy objectives relating to environment, energy and transport;
- Other Community policies, namely health, gender equality, regional development, trade, enlargement, development aid, internal market and competitiveness, social policy and employment, education training and culture, gender equality, consumer protection, the creation of an area of freedom, security and justice, and external relations;
- Community policy objectives deriving from the political orientations given by the European Council.
The multi-annual programming of these activities will take into account the opinions of the relevant Scientific Committees associated with the policies concerned. The programming will be conducted with the help of a User Group composed of different Commission Services which will assess suggestions on the basis of the following criteria:
- Their contribution to policy formulation;
- Their potential contribution to the EU's competitiveness, the strengthening of its scientific and technological bases and the achievement of the European Research Area, including the effective integration of the candidate countries;
- European added value;
- The scientific relevance and feasibility of the research themes and approaches proposed;
- Assurance of an appropriate division of tasks, and synergy, between these activities and the Direct Actions of the Joint Research Centre in support of Community policies.
The overall objective is to underpin the formulation and implementation of Community policies, by providing scientific contributions to policies that are targeted precisely on needs ('demand-driven', coherent across the various Community policy areas, and sensitive to changes in policies as they take place).