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At the end of the second part of the Competitiveness Council of 18 April 2005, dedicated to research, Francois Biltgen, Minister for Culture, Research and Higher Education as well as President of the Competitiveness Council informed about the next stages in the ITER1 dossier:
"The Competitiveness Council had an exchange of views on the state of play with ITER.
The Council welcomed the progress achieved together with all the partners, and notably the constructive meeting between Commissioner Potocnik and the Japanese Minister Nakayama on 12 April 2005.
The Council reaffirmed its conclusions of November 2004. It recalled that the European Council on 22/23 March 2005 stressed the need to begin building ITER on the European site by the end of 2005 and called on the Commission to make every effort to achieve that aim, in particular by finalising the international agreement by July 2005. The Competitiveness Council will make every effort to respect, in all certainty, the timetable laid down by the European Council for the finalisation of the international agreement on ITER.
The Council invited the Commission to accelerate the necessary preparatory work for the conclusion of the international agreement so that it can be finalised by the Luxembourg Presidency.
It also invited the Commission to intensify contact with the partners with a view to concluding with a maximum number of partners within the envisaged timeframe, a 6 partner solution remaining the preferred option of the Council."
1ITER is the english accronym for the international project on an experimental thermonuclear reactor. Six parties, the European Union, South Korea, China, the United States of America, Japan and Russia, participate in the international negotiations for this project.
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