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Members of the European Parliament commend the Slovenian Presidency for fulfilling its promise in the area of science

The Slovenian Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology, Mojca Kucler Dolinar, today in Brussels presented before the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) the achievements of the Slovenian Presidency in the area of science, technology and the information society.In her opening address, she stated:"We were warned that our programme is too ambitious; however, today we are proud to say we have succeeded."

The current president of the Competitiveness Council draws particular attention in the area of achievements to reviving the European Research Area (ERA) by launching the "Ljubljana Process", which will also be reflected in the work of future EU Council presidencies; adopting in final form legislative acts which will improve the quality of life of European Union citizens and the competitiveness of the European Union, as well as the position of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Union; and deciding on the location of the headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. The Minister commented:"I believe that with this decision the ministers have shown we can put short-term considerations aside in exchange for long-term benefits for Europe.With this, the Slovenian Presidency slogan 'SI.nergy for Europe' has also been put into practice."

The Slovenian Presidency thereby successfully completed all the projects of its programme, even those launched during the German and Portuguese Presidencies, and thus successfully completed the work of the Trio.On the other hand, the "Ljubljana Process" symbolises a bridge into the future and the work of successive presidencies, as well as of the continuity of ERA development.

The Minister also said that she is pleased with achievements with regard to the priorities laid down on the role of women in science, research infrastructure and in the Western Balkans. She also highlighted the first meeting of the EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council on Research, which has strategic importance, since it paves the way to including Russia into the 7th framework programme for research and to closer cooperation between the EU and Russia. Regarding information society issues, Minister Kucler Dolinar pointed out the adoption of conclusions which will enable faster digitalisation in Europe and the extension of ENISA's mandate.

In a lively debate, the Slovenian Presidency was commended by the members of the EP for acting in the best interest of all European citizens and for excellent cooperation. The MEPs were also interested in the contribution of the Slovenian Presidency to solving climate and energy issues. In this context, Minister Kucler Dolinar highlighted the orientation of research to seek long-term solutions, such as the experimental fusion reactor ITER and the adoption of the Regulation setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, which can bring promising results in the near future for developing more efficient and ecologically advanced propulsions and alternative fuels.Members of the EU also agreed that the Slovenian Presidency created an excellent basis for the work of successive presiding states and established a laudable way of cooperation with all institutions and just the right amount of work dynamics.

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Date: 27.06.2008