My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Baroness Wilcox, has today made the following statement:
The EU Competitiveness Council will take place in Brussels on 9 and 10 March 2011. Andy Lebrecht, the UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU will represent the UK on research issues on 9 March and I shall represent the UK on internal market and industry issues on 10 March.
The research substantive agenda items on 9 March will be a Commission presentation and exchange of views on the Europe 2020 strategy annual growth survey; adoption of Council conclusions on the interim evaluation of the seventh research framework programme including the risk-sharing finance facility; an update on the European innovation union flagship initiative; and adoption of Council conclusions on a pilot innovation partnership on active and healthy ageing. There will also be a lunchtime discussion on the European Commission’s common strategic framework for research and innovation funding Green Paper.
The research any other business items are: a report from the Belgian delegation and the Commission on the conference “The knowledge-based bio-economy towards 2020” and a Commission presentation on the Council decision concerning the framework programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for nuclear research and training activities (2012 to 2013).
The internal market and industry substantive agenda items on 10 March will be a Commission update and exchange of views on the results of the public consultation on the Single Market Act; adoption of Council conclusions on the Commission communication “Towards a better functioning single market for services—building on the results of the mutual evaluation process of the services directive”; adoption of the proposed Council decision authorising enhanced co-operation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection; a Commission presentation and exchange of views (industry perspective) on the Europe 2020 strategy annual growth survey; and adoption of Council conclusions on the raw materials initiative. There will also be an Industry Ministers lunchtime discussion on the Commission’s mid-term review of the Small Business Act.
The internal market and industry any other business items will comprise Commission presentations and updates on the following:
The internal market information system (IMI);
The SOLVIT annual report;
The European Court of Justice opinion on a draft treaty for the creation of a single court for patent related disputes;
The fifth consumer scoreboard;
The public consultation: towards coherent European approach to collective redress;
The public consultation on alternative dispute resolution;
The Commission communication on reaping the benefits of electronic invoicing for Europe;
The implementation of the recommendations of the high-level group on the competitiveness of the European chemical industry.
The Government’s main aims will be:
To emphasise the UK’s priorities for the Single Market Act;
To agree Council conclusions on the services directive mutual evaluation process and on the Commission’s raw materials initiative;
To support further progress on the EU patent;
To highlight the UK’s priorities for achieving EU growth (from both industry and research perspectives) in response to the Commission’s annual growth survey;
To agree Council conclusions on the seventh research framework programme interim evaluation and on the pilot innovation partnership on active and healthy ageing.