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Competitiveness Council

Competitiveness Council
Date: 25.02.2008
Venue: Brussels
Policy area: Competitiveness
Type of event: Council of Ministers

The agenda for the morning session, chaired by the Slovenian Minister of the Economy, Mr Andrej Vizjak, will include issues related to the internal market and industry. The main item on the agenda will be the adoption of the Key Issues Paper (KIP) on key issues in the context of the Lisbon economic reform process. The KIP will be the Competitiveness Council’s contribution to the spring meeting of the European Council, which will prepare conclusions on the implementation of the Lisbon strategy.

The most important subjects on the agenda include a survey of the operation of the single market, on which the Council is expected to adopt conclusions. The single market should enable the EU to respond successfully to the challenges of globalisation and to be active in shaping the globalisation process. The European Commission will provide information in the form of its Consumer Market Scoreboard and Internal Market Scoreboard. The purpose of the scoreboards is to compare the strength of the consumer environment in different Member States and to review the integration of the internal retail market.

The afternoon session, a meeting of Ministers competent for research, will be chaired by the Slovenian Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology, Ms Mojca Kucler Dolinar. The Ministers will discuss the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan). Europe has set itself ambitious goals in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the share of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. To achieve these goals, more efficient new technologies will have to be developed and efforts aimed at expanding research activities and improving innovative solutions in this field will have to be stepped up. More financial resources will have to be obtained as well.

The Minister are also expected to adopt an agreement on a general approach regarding the new legislative proposal on setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking in the context of the joint technological initiative. Joint technological initiatives provide an opportunity for creating new partnerships between public and privately-funded research organisations, thereby contributing towards achieving the Lisbon objectives.

Presidency Briefing


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Date: 07.03.2008