Espace presseThema


The Association of French Research Organisations (CLORA)
See article 177.

CNRS Foreign Offices
The Offices of the CNRS abroad are generally permanent offices representing the CNRS in nations or regions where the CNRS is seeking to strengthen its scientific cooperation (Bonn, Brussels, Moscow).
See articles 176, 178 and 217.

Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS)
CORDIS is the information service of the European Community in the area of research and development and maintains a free web site sponsored by the European Commission. CORDIS provides access to a wide range of information on Community research activities, including R&D and technological innovation.
CORDIS acts as a gateway to information services on thematic as well as horizontal programmes. It also facilitates access to information concerning other research programmes and initiatives that are not part of the FPRtd.

Council of Europe
Intergovernmental organisation inaugurated in 1949 (London Treaty). The goals of the Council of Europe are to:
– defend human rights, parliamentary democracy and the rule of law,
– promote awareness of a European identity based on shared values and cutting across different cultures,
– develop solutions to social problems,
– develop democratic stability in Europe by supporting political, legal and constitutional reform in parallel with economic reform.
The Council, whose headquarters are in Strasbourg, unites 44 democratic states in Europe. The Council of Europe and the European Union are distinct organisations, but the 15 member states of the EU1 are also members of the Council of Europe.

Egide (attached to the French Foreign Affairs Ministry)
A not-for-profit association which manage the French government's international cooperation initiatives, such as reception of foreign scholarship holders and invited guests, and preparation of international expert assignments.

European Associated Laboratories (LEA, CNRS) or “Laboratories without walls”.
A structured agreement which groups together several laboratories from two or three European countries for the purpose of sharing human and material resources in a jointly defined research programme. The four-year agreement is renewable.

European Community
See Maastricht Treaty

European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research
COST is an intergovernmental framework for European cooperation allowing the coordination of nationally funded research on a European level. COST sets up research nets that create opportunities for European researchers to collaborate on a wide range of research and technology activities.

The European Court on Human Rights
A jurisdiction of the Council of Europe, the Court was established in 1959 under The European Convention on Human Rights which is an achievement of the Council.

European Emblem
In 1986 the European Council adopted the flag and the emblem of the European Union.
Symbolic description: a circle of twelve gold stars on a blue background represents the union of the peoples of Europe. The number of stars is invariable with the number twelve symbolising perfection and completeness.
Heraldic description: on an azure field a circle of twelve golden mullets, their points not touching.

European Institutions
The European Union (EU) is founded on an institutional system unique in the world. Member states agree in effect to delegate a part of their sovereignty to independent institutions that represent European Community interests, national interests, and citizens' interests all at once.
Traditionally, the European Commission defends the interest of the European Community, while each national government is represented on the European Council, and the European Parliament is elected by the citizens of the Union. Law and democracy are thereby the foundations of the European Union. Two other institutions join this “institutional triangle”, the European Court of Justice, and the Court of Auditors, as well as five organs: the European Central Bank, the European Investment Bank, the European Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, and the European Ombudsman.
Finally, a number of agencies have been created to accomplish specific tasks of a technical, scientific, or management nature.

Agencies of the European Union
A Community agency is a public organisation under European law, distinct from Community institutions (European Council, Parliament, Commission, etc.) and characterised as a legal entity in itself. An agency is created by an individual piece of legislation since agencies are not provided for in the Treaties, for the purpose of accomplishing a specific technical, scientific or admistrative task clearly delineated in the act that established it.

The Committee of the Regions (Brussels)
The Committee of the Regions is a watchdog organisation for the local and regional identity and rights. It is to be consulted obligatorily in areas such as regional policies, environment, or education. It is composed of representatives from local and regional governments.

The Council of the European Union (Brussels)
The Council is the principal decisional authority of the European Union. It emanates from the Member States whose representatives it regularly convenes, at the ministerial level. According the questions to be treated, the Council meets in various formations: foreign affairs, finance, education, telecommunications, etc.

The Court of Auditors (Luxembourg)
The European Court of Auditors verifies the legality and regularity of the receipts and expenditures of the Union and ensures the sound financial management of the European Budget.

The Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The European Court of Justice ensures the respect and equal interpretation of Community law. It has jurisdiction to hear conflicts involving member States, Community institutions, firms, and individuals. The Court of First Instance was attached to the Court of Justice in 1989.

European Central Bank (Frankfort)
The European Central Bank defines and implements European monetary policy, it conducts currency exchange operations, and ensures the proper functioning of means of payment. It is the pivot of the Euro system.

The European Commission (Brussels)
The European Commission embodies and defends the general interest of the Union. The President and the Members of the Commission are named by Member States and subject to approval by the European Parliament. The Commission is the driving force of the Community institutional system. It proposes legislation to be submitted to the Parliament and the Council, it is responsible for executing European laws, the European budget and the decisions of the Parliament and the Council. It enforces Community law conjointly with the Court of Justice and it represents the Union at the international level.

The European Economic and Social Committee (Brussels)
The Economic and Social Committee represents the views and interests of organised civil society to the Commission, the Parliament, and the Council. It must be consulted on all matters pertaining to political, economic and social questions. It may exercise its prerogative to issue opinions on themes it deems important.

The European Investment Bank (Luxembourg)
The European Investment Bank is the financial institution of the European Union. It finances investment projects destined to contribute to a balanced development of the Union.

The European Ombudsman (Strasbourg)
Any European citizen, firm or institution considering themselves to be a victim of poor administration by the institutions or organs of the Union may lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman.

The European Parliament (626 Members, Strasbourg, Brussels, Luxembourg)
Elected for a term of five years by universal direct suffrage, the European Parliament is the direct democratic expression of European citizens (more than 375 million1). Members of Parliament sit in Europe-wide political groups that cover all the existing political tendencies in member countries. The Parliament performs three essential functions: with the European Council it exercises legislative and budgetary responsibilities, and it functions as a democratic watchdog over the European Commission.

European Research Commissioner in Brussels
Philippe Busquin is the current European Commissioner for Research.

European Research Groups (GDRE of the CNRS)
Research nets established by a renewable four-year agreement and bringing together partners from diverse settings in universities, public research organisations, and industrial firms around specific scientific objectives.

European Science Foundation (ESF)
ESF's Euroconferences (EURESCO)
See article on the ESF 174

Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FPRtd)
See the article on the 6th FPRD, 171, 173.

Integrated Action Plans (PAI)
Integrated Action Plans are bilateral cooperative research programmes established by the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Research Ministry with their counterparts in other countries. An integrated action is a research project established jointly by two research teams, one French and one foreign, which is funded, upon evaluation, by both countries.

Integrated Programmes (PI)
Integrated Programmes are a response to the need to improve knowledge production and exchange. Within the framework of a single contract, a PI combines the activities of research, demonstration, technology transfer, and training. PI are large projects designed to help constitute a critical mass of research activity toward a specific, well-defined, scientific or technological objective.

International Joint Laboratories (LMI, CNRS)
Located either in France or abroad in Europe, an International Joint Laboratory brings together in the same laboratory research personnel from the CNRS and from another country. Its formal status is the same as a CNRS joint laboratory, created by a four-year agreement, renewable twice upon evaluation. The initial decision to establish an LMI as well as the choice of country and research themes are the prerogative of the leadership of the CNRS.

International Programmes of Scientific Cooperation (PICS, CNRS)
Programmes built around a defined research theme on the basis of a pre-existing collaboration between two (or three) French and foreign laboratories which have already published jointly. Participants are proposed by the scientific departments of the CNRS. Programme duration is three to five years.

The International Relations Division (DRI, CNRS)
See article 168

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Networks of Excellence (NoE)
A new feature of the 6th Framework Programme, they are designed to foster a progressive integration of the research activities of Network participants through the establishment of “virtual” centers of excellence. They are based on a common action plan and are intended in the long run to structure the European Research Area.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)
NATO's scientific program supports collaborative research efforts among scientists from member countries of The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). Researchers from these countries who participate in the “Mediterranean Dialogue” are eligible for funds for cooperative activities. Funding grants are approved on the basis of requests filed by researchers from participating countries. Support for collaborative research takes the form of a series of mechanisms and activities that are designed to establish permanent ties among researchers from different countries and, at the same time, to stimulate cooperation. The latter is understood to be essential to scientific progress, the overall goal of which is to contribute to peace and stability.

Partnership and Technology Transfer Service (SPV) of the CNRS
The role of the Partnership and Technology Transfer Service is to develop the partnership ties of CNRS laboratories, including industry links, ties to other research organisations or European partnerships. It provides aid and expertise to researchers for developing the partnership or transfer aspects of their projects, ranging from the negotiation of a partnership agreement to the protection of inventions, all within the framework of the international and industrial relations policies of the CNRS. In this regard, the SPV is a contact for laboratories seeking information or help on legal, procedural or technical matters related to the signing of a partnership contract.

The Robert Schuman Foundation
The Robert Schuman Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation whose goals are:
to support new European democracies by concrete actions;
to participate in the development of Europe's future in cooperation with other European foundations through the organisation of colloquia, conferences and international meetings;
to support promising research projects through doctoral grants;
to contribute to the debate on European ideas through various publications including especially “Notes”, the publication series of the Foundation.

Strategic Reflection Group (GRS) of the office of the President of the CNRS
"Building a European Research Area"
See article 170

The functioning of the European Union is governed by treaties signed by all the member States of the Union and which define in precise terms the authority relinquished by the States to European institutions.

The Treaty of Rome
(March 25, 1957)
Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands signed two treaties in Rome, the first creating the European Economic Community (EEC), and the second the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM).
This treaty was extended by the signing of The Single European Act in 1986 which made possible the transformation on January 1, 1993 of the Common Market into the single market without frontiers and paved the way for the European Union.
See article 153

The Treaty of Maastricht
(February 7, 1992)
This treaty went beyond the initial economic objective of the Community (the realisation of a common market) to give it a political vocation. The Maastricht Treaty marked an important stage toward an “ever closer union among the peoples of Europe”.
This treaty instituted a European Union among the twelve Member States of the Community and facilitated the establishment of the three “pillars”:
– the European Community, which replaced the European Economic Community and includes enhanced supranational powers;
– cooperation in matters of foreign policy;
– cooperation in matters of justice and internal affairs.

The Treaty of Amsterdam
(October 2, 1997)
Taking effect on May 1, 1999, the Amsterdam Treaty was established on the basis of the three pillars inaugurated by the Treaty of Maastricht, which was modified by this Treaty. It affirms the principles of liberty, democracy, and respect for human rights.
The Treaty proposed a European area of liberty, security, and justice, it consolidated the social dimension of the European Union, and it called for initial plans to be made for the admission of new Member States to the Union.

The Treaty of Nice
(February 26, 2001)
An essential forerunner to enlargement of the Union, the Treaty of Nice lays the groundwork for the proper functioning of European institutions when the Union will comprise 30 Members.
It foresees European institutional reform along three principal axes:
– the composition of European institutions;
– the functioning of European institutions;
– the decision-making procedure with the European Council, and reinforced cooperation among Members.
The foreign affairs ministers of the member States signed the Treaty on the 26th of February, 2001, and member States have all ratified the Treaty, either by vote in the national parliament or by referendum.

Twinned laboratories (CNRS)
The possibility of a twinning agreement between laboratories was created in 1990 in order to support the scientific potential of other centers of excellence, notably in central and eastern Europe, and to encourage collaboration with such centers. The renewable agreement last four years.

1/ On May 1st, 2004, ten new countries joined the European Union.


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