Scientists in the European Union's prospective new member states are keen to tap into the funding opportunities EU membership will bring, but many feel that obstacles are causing problems for them. This was a key conclusion of a conference in Romania recently (February12–13) to discuss the participation of the acceding and candidate countries (ACCs) in the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), the EU's main source of centralized research funding.

The conference in Bucharest was jointly organized by the European Commission (EC), the Romanian Ministry of Education, Research and Youth, and the Romanian Academy.

Hugh Richardson, the European Commission's deputy director general of research, pointed out that in research, the enlargement of the European Union is already a reality, since candidate countries have been able to participate in EU-funded programs for some years. He emphasized, however, the need for these countries to improve their participation in FP6 through more and better quality...

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