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Achievements in the trialogue on the Rules of Participation

Our Group played an important and fundamental role in the negotiations with the Commission and the Council achieving important results in the trilogue meetings. The vast majority of these results were accomplished by EPP-ED and Gunnar Hökmark was successful in obtaining several important changes in the Commission’s text. It has to be noted that the Commission was particularly reluctant to make any concessions to the Parliament and the Council, considering the rules of participation as its technical domain.

After long discussions the shadow rapporteur managed, in particular, to strengthen and facilitate the participation of SME’s, including, in addition, the creation of a guarantee fund that will help the participation of small entities guarantying the financial contribution of the participants without being responsible for the debts of other participants. Furthermore SME’s will get 75% coverage of their eligible cost.

In article 24, on the definition of the Consortia agreement, we managed to clarify the definition of what has to be regulated within Consortia. Here the internal organisation, community financial contributions and how to deal with the issue of IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) should be mentioned.

In article 25, that deals with the role of the coordinator, Gunnar Hökmark managed to obtain a strengthening of the role and better definition of the coordinator’s tasks, in particular, saying that only participants in the project can be appointed as co-ordinators and stressing that an important task is to monitor that participants in the indirect action comply with their obligations.

Through further negotiations Gunnar Hökmark managed to obtain a clarification of the indirect eligible costs allowing non-profit public bodies, secondary and higher education establishments, research organisations and SME’s, which are unable to identify with certainty their real indirect costs for the action concerned, to opt out for a flat-rate equal to 60% of the total direct eligible costs for grants awarded before 1.01.2010. With a view to facilitate a transition to full application of the general principle of full accountability; the Commission shall establish grants after 31.12.2009 of an appropriate flat rate which should be an approximation of the real indirect costs concerned. This shall however not be lower than 40% (for non -profit public bodies, secondary and higher education establishments, research organisations and SME’s).

Furthermore the EPP-ED group obtained, for security related research, the possibility of reaching a financing of 75% in the case of the development of highly reliable capabilities having an impact on the security of the European citizens and targeted to a limited number of public users.

As the spokesman for the EPP-ED group, Gunnar Hökmark was also successful in changing the definition of the term ’affiliated entity’ (any legal entity that is under the direct or indirect control of a participant, or under the same direct or indirect control as the participant), allowing the possibility to transfer foreground also outside of Europe or so called associated countries.
Finally it was also added that projects that are participating in the FP7 shall include visual means to show that the foreground concerned has been financed with the financial support of the European Community (for example by the display of a European flag).