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14.9.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 284/19

7.10. The Commission is should report every three tation with interested parties, before the Regulation is
years on the effectiveness of the Regulation, on the basis reviewed again. This assessment should include the costs
of reports made by Member States. of the reporting and collating of the data required under
the Regulation. More frequent reviews might be appro-
7.11. The Commission should consult Member priate prior to changes in compensation levels.
States, the airline industry and consumer groups about
how the rights available under the Regulation might best
be brought to the attention of the travelling public. 7.13. The Commission should undertake a compara-
tive analysis of EU and US denied compensation payment
7.12. The Commission should carry out a full assess- rules to check whether there is scope for simplifying the
ment of the Regulation’s costs and benefits, in consul- EU rules.

Brussels, 1 July 1998.

The President
of the Economic and Social Committee
Tom JENKINS

Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee on ‘Ways and means of strengthening the
networks for the provision of information on and exploitation of applied RTD programmes
in Europe’

(98/C 284/06)

On 29 January 1998 the Economic and Social Committee decided, under the third paragraph
of Rule 23 of its Rules of Procedure, to draw up an opinion on ‘Ways and means of
strengthening the networks for the provision of information on and exploitation of applied
RTD programmes in Europe’.

The Section for Energy, Nuclear Questions and Research, which was responsible for preparing
the Committee’s work on the subject, adopted its opinion unanimously on 17 June 1998. The
rapporteur was Mr Malosse.

At its 356th plenary session of 1 and 2 July 1998 (meeting of 1 July), the Economic and Social
Committee adopted the following opinion unanimously.

I. RECOMMENDATIONS ments in order to be able to disseminate new technologies
tailored to European enterprises,
The Economic and Social Committee,
I.4. the opportunity afforded to the 5th Framework
I.1. the urgent need for a ‘structural’ strategy to
Programme on Research and Technological Develop-
strengthen the competitiveness of European industry in
ment (hereinafter 5th RTDFP) to help rise to this
the interests of growth and employment,
challenge of competitiveness, thereby permitting a clear
break with previous programmes, as the European
I.2. the vital role played here by back-up and infor- Parliament, Council and Economic and Social Com-
mation networks in ensuring that enterprises, and mittee have advocated,
particularly SMEs with an unexploited innovative
capacity (‘vanguard’ enterprises), are able to participate
in research programmes, I.5. the excessive dispersal of existing national and
Community networks which, in the view of the Com-
I.3. the vital need to set up a mechanism for exploiting mittee, are unable to make an effective contribution to
research findings and monitoring technological develop- any new strategy designed to break with the past,
C 284/20 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 14.9.98

presents the following recommendations in this own- ries, universities and back-up organizations. The Group
initiative opinion to the Council, the European Parlia- could operate in conjunction with the ESC and carry
ment and the Commission: out monitoring, evaluation and observation work.

Recommendation No 1 Recommendation No 5

The Committee calls upon the European Commission With the aim of ensuring genuine consistency, the
to present a communication laying down an overall Committee proposes the organization, via telematics, of
strategy for networks providing information, exploi- a conference of Community, national and intergovern-
tation and back-up in RTD and innovation. mental networks (Eureka, OECD ...) to which would be
invited the ‘innovation units’ of specific programmes
Such a strategy should embrace the rationalization of forming part of the 5th RTDFP.
existing mechanisms and incorporate a number of
different European policies, viz.: the action plan on A vademecum of national, Community and intergovern-
innovation; the 5th RTDFP; economic and social mental activities would offer better guidance to the
cohesion; educational and training programmes; policies competent authorities in their vitally important task of
in favour of competitiveness; enlargement and external securing improved coordination.
policy.
Recommendation No 6
Recommendation No 2
In the interests of transparency and comprehensibility
Within the context of this overall strategy, the Economic for the parties concerned (enterprises, researchers, uni-
and Social Committee recommends that existing mech- versities, new business entrepreneurs ...) the Committee
anisms (5th RTDFP, Structural Funds, educational and proposes that Euro-info-centres be allotted the task of
training programmes, SME programme ...) be used to guiding the activities of specialized networks, including
help specialized support networks in promoting the Community networks. Operating locally and in close
principle of ‘mediation’. touch with reality, Euro-info-centres would initially
steer users towards the most appropriate information,
The aim of such ‘mediation’ networks would be to a) exploitation and back-up network.
promote strategies for linkages between enterprises, b)
further interaction between enterprises, research and
universities, c) encourage the monitoring of technologi- Recommendation No 7
cal developments, d) advance economic intelligence, and
e) promote project management (legal, financial, etc.). The Committee would recommend that the strategy
proposed today be extended to all applicant countries
The Committee considers that the third horizontal as part of the EU’s pre-accession policy.
action of the future 5th RTDFP (promoting innovation
and encouraging the participation of SMEs) should be The Committee also understands the case for a strategy
largely given over to achieving this objective. of preferential partnership with the Euro-Mediterranean
area, other European countries and the signatories to
the Lomé Convention. Appropriate instruments would
Recommendation No 3 have to be brought into play to achieve this objective.

The Committee urges the European Commission to take The Committee would finally recommend that Europe
steps to improve the coordination between Community work together with its developed international partners
information/back-up networks and networks for the to achieve mutually beneficial synergistic effects.
exploitation of RTD findings. In so doing it should also
seek to achieve the vital goal of ensuring that the two
types of networks remain complementary. 1. Introduction
The Commission must bring these networks within a
larger mechanism of support for ‘mediation’ and must 1.1. This initiative follows on directly from the most
gear them exclusively to meeting the needs of users. recent Committee opinions on research, and in particular
Networks must not be allowed to further their own the opinion entitled ‘Towards the Fifth Framework
policy objectives. Programme — scientific and technological objectives (1)’
and the own-initiative opinion entitled ‘The impact on
SMEs of the steady, widespread reduction in funds
Recommendation No 4 allocated to research and technological development in
the EU (at Community and national level) (2)’.
The Committee proposes the setting-up of a ‘Users’
Group’ for Community networks. Represented on the (1) OJ C 355, 21.11.1997, p. 38.
Group would be a variety of users: enterprises, laborato- (2) OJ C 355, 21.11.1997, p. 31.
14.9.98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 284/21

1.2. In these opinions the Committee made the point own initiative is concerned with two questions which
that the industrial impact of Community RTD activities are essential to the success of this strategy, viz.:
is too weak, particularly in the case of small and
medium-sized enterprises which make up 99,8 % of all 2.1.1. the ways and means of ensuring, through the
European enterprises. This view is widely shared by a provision of information and assistance, that enterprises,
variety of bodies and institutions such as the EU’s and particularly small and medium-sized enterprises,
Scientific and Technical Research Committee (CREST) are able to genuinely participate in research activities,
which, as the Fifth Framework Programme was being
prepared, adopted a report on the participation of SMEs 2.1.2. the exploitation of research findings by enter-
in RTD activities. The recommendations made by prises (insofar as they are potential users thereof).
CREST were concerned inter alia with the question of
access to information.
2.2. The opinion needs to be strategically aware of
the dual need to make a clear distinction between
the specific functions of a) information and b) RTD
1.3. In its opinion on the Fifth Framework Programme exploitation, whilst at the same time ensuring that the
the Committee said that it was desirable (1) ‘to directly two aspects remain complementary and operationally
involve research players and end-users, particularly the interlinked. The route to information and exploitation
various types of SME, from the planning of the RTDFP is not a linear one, leading straight from the research
right through to the innovative application of research laboratory to industrial applications but is made up of
results’. a criss-cross pattern of interactions.

2.2.1. Information about applied RTD programmes
1.4. In its opinion on SMEs and RTD (2) the Com- is geared both to identifying circles liable to promote
mittee drew a distinction in particular between three RTD activities but also to raising awareness of potential
categories of SMEs: (‘simple users of technologies’; opportunities for innovation, the transfer of technologies
‘vanguard’ enterprises, i.e. those with an unused capacity and the exploitation of RTD. It embraces elements which
for innovation; and finally ‘high-tech SMEs’. It then are as diverse as they are complementary: observation,
recommended that Community action be concentrated training, advice, hearings, analysis of requirements. A
on ‘vanguard’ enterprises, or ‘technology followers’, of permanent two-way flow of ideas is therefore required
which there are thought to be between 1 and 1,5 million if information is to effectively fulfil all these various
in the European Union. tasks.

2.2.2. The exploitation of RTD, seen as a means of
1.5. The present opinion is being drawn up as introducing scientific elements into mechanisms which
preparations go ahead to present the Community’s Fifth are not particularly well suited to integrating them,
Framework Programme. However, mindful of the need more especially when we are talking about SMEs, needs
for coherence, the Committee has deliberately widened to be conceived as a system which feeds into the processes
the scope of its analysis to include all Community of transfer and innovation a whole range of other factors
policies and programmes dealing with the concepts such as: a culture of innovation, the identification of
of innovation and related procedural matters. The needs and innovative capacity, adaptability to new
Committee’s work is also placed within a context that technologies, the transfer of expertise and know-how,
takes into consideration the capacity of enterprises to business-plans and commercial planning.
develop, achieve competitiveness and create jobs. The
Committee intends to draw up proposals which are
consistent with regional, national and intergovernmental 2.3. Despite a number of praiseworthy initiatives
mechanisms such as Eureka. which seem to be scattered about loosely among various
European Commission departments (Contact points
within the Craft network, Innovation Relay Centres,
Cordis network, Euro-Info-centres, Regional Innovation
Strategies, associations of universities and enterprises,
2. The aims of the own-initiative opinion etc.), the impact of European RTD on industry remains
weaker than expected. A ‘Hearing’ on these networks,
organized by the Committee’s study group, has led to
2.1. The foremost task of this own-initiative opinion the clear realization that each of the networks addresses
is to recommend courses of action and make concrete a unique and different set of concerns and adopts its
proposals offering guidance in determining the practi- own distinct but nevertheless legitimate approach to
calities of Community action. The Union is preparing achieving goals such as: increasing the participation of
to adopt a Fifth RTDFP which, through the concept of SMEs in the Community’s RTD programmes, setting
key actions, seeks to exert a genuine impact on European up a European network for the exploitation of RTD
industry and its level of competitiveness; in so doing it results, informing SMEs more widely of European
departs from previous programmes. The Committee’s affairs, consolidating regional innovation strategies with
a view to economic and social cohesion in the Union,
improving links, through training schemes, between
research and the business world. Thus a clear distinction
(1) OJ C 355, 21.11.1997, p. 38, paragraph 1.3. has not always been made between information and
(2) OJ C 355, 21.11.1997, p. 31. back-up on the one hand and the exploitation of findings
C 284/22 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 14.9.98

on the other. The set-up as a whole throws up problems 3.3. After having analysed the problem and verified
of consistency, comprehensibility, coordination and the state of play at both national and Community level,
efficiency. Mindful of the need to make an overall we need to draw up a number of proposals aimed at
response to the problem of competitiveness through achieving these goals of coherence and integration.
specific, appropriate support, the Committee thus Priorities would include:
intends to make a number of suggestions aimed at
ensuring that the 5th RTDFP is quite different from its 3.3.1. Widening the circle of users of the information
predecessor. network(s) about Community RTD, the prime target
being ‘vanguard’ enterprises which should be involved
in the programmes but whose potential is ill-defined
and not easy to bring up to date.
2.4. Since Community research only represents 4 %
of all research activities carried out within the European
3.3.2. Redefining the function of exploiting RTD
Union, it is also necessary to widen discussions to take
results, especially in relation to SMEs, regarding it as a
in the complementarity, or reasons for the lack of
continuous and complex process of transferring exper-
complementarity, between European activities on the
tise and know-how — something to be achieved first
one hand and national or local activities on the other.
and foremost through the use of training and advisory
The Committee would recall here the comments and
services.
recommendations made in its opinions on the 5th
RTDFP (1), and particularly its call for a comparative
set of tables, a vademecum whereby the progress of 3.3.3. Establishing a suitable framework for breaking
national, European and intergovernmental programmes down the barriers between existing innovation-support
can be compared and monitored, topic by topic. networks in order to give them a truly European
dimension.

3.3.4. Taking on board the innovations of the Fifth
Framework Programme for Research and Technological
3. Efforts to achieve coherence and integration Development, viz.:

3.3.4.1. The Fifth Framework Programme is highly
ambitious in its thematic approach and is innovative in
3.1. Whatever the area of discussion and line of combining the new concept of ‘key actions’ with the
enquiry, vigilance is required to combat the continuing traditional idea of specific programmes. It enumerates
tendency of innovation support networks in Europe a wide variety of methods for implementing plans and
— be they of Community, intergovernmental, national, within the 21 lines of the paragraph promoting the
regional or private origin — to remain compartmental- participation of SMEs under the Third Activity (‘Action
ized. The search for coherence — be it within the Fifth specific to the innovation and participation of SMEs’
RTDFP itself, or in respect of other Community actions activity’) no less than eleven proposed strategies can be
on innovation or in respect of national programmes — identified. Unless further information is forthcoming,
must first and foremost involve the presentation of there is therefore a danger that the least well prepared
proposals concerned with instruments and means. categories of enterprises, notably the vanguard enter-
prises, will back off or show no interest in the strategies.

3.2. In addition to the search for coherence, any 3.3.4.2. In the view of the Committee, another major
future proposals will have to ensure the effective innovation of the Fifth Framework Programme lies in
integration of objectives with actions, more especially the obligation on all promoters of action to draw up a
in: the promotion of competitiveness; the integration ‘technological implementation plan’. The Committee is
of economic and social cohesion with job-creating happy with this measure if it makes it possible to
objectives; consideration of the strategic role of SMEs effectively use such plans as flexible follow-up mecha-
and of their specific needs; the systematic search for nisms with a view to measuring the impact of the work
complementarity and synergies between networks and carried out and, as a corollary, to facilitate economic
between different types of enterprises: hiving-off ten- exploitation and the acquisition of development funds.
dencies of big firms, new relations between big firms With this in mind, the role of networks for exploiting
and SMEs, concept of clusters. The success of this RTD may be of vital importance in providing back-up
integration strategy is contingent upon the establishment for the effective implementation of such plans.
of a framework that encourages a large number of
interactions between all the actors concerned, viz.:
industrialists, professional organizations, chambers of 4. Theoretical proposals
commerce, industry and trade, universities, research
centres, regions, educational and training establish- 4.1. Enterprises, and particularly vanguard SMEs,
ments, companies specializing in the funding of inno- have specific needs in terms of back-up, technical
vations. support and specialized services, viz.:

4.1.1. Information — back-up training — both in
connection with RTD programmes and technologies
(1) OJ C 355, 21.11.1997, p. 38 and OJ C 73, 9.3.1998, p. 133. (products, markets).
14.9.98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 284/23

4.1.2. Advice about the technical and legal feasibility inter-firm relations, the hiving-off activities of major
of innovations, including intellectual property rights. firms, strategic link-ups, strategies on the ‘clustering’ of
firms, relations between firms, universities and research
4.1.3. Development of innovative technological pro- centres.
jects: identifying possibilities, technological and eco-
nomic feasibility, evaluation and licensing of projects, Ways must be found of stimulating the activities of these
scientific and technical cooperation. services by combining Community aid with regional/
national aid, as well as public funds with private support.
4.1.4. Study, setting up and development of European The European Union can make a vital contribution in
projects. this area, notably by taking the following action:

4.1.5. Back-up and follow-through of technological
6.1.1. compiling a record of best local and regional
applications: training, evaluation, introduction of proto-
practices (both in Europe and elsewhere) and using this
types, advice on utilization by third parties, etc.
as a platform to introduce ‘benchmarking’ pilot schemes;
4.1.6. Economic and commercial back-up and exploi-
tation: research surveys, commercial launch, marketing, 6.1.2. making back-up organizations (trade associ-
development for European market, financial manage- ations, chambers, technical centres) eligible (alongside
ment of projects. enterprises) for indirect RTD activities under the Fifth
Framework Programme, giving them the specific tasks
of a) identifying the innovative potential of small and
4.2. All these activities concerned with back-up, medium-sized enterprises and craft-based firms and b)
support, advice and follow-through should be resolutely running collective schemes concerned for example with
pro-active and should encourage a spirit of enterprise participation in RTD activities and trial schemes on the
where risks are minimized and opportunities maximized. transfer and tailoring of new technologies to a given
sector;

5. Operational proposals 6.1.3. supporting regional innovation strategies (RIS)
by ensuring that they are perfectly consistent with the
5.1. The Committee believes that if the challenges of new objectives of the Fifth Framework Programme, and
the new Fifth Framework Programme (key actions, strengthening the implementation of such strategies in
technological development plans) are to be met, if the least developed countries and regions, through
instruments are to be coherent, and if objectives are to Structural Funds, and in applicant countries, through
be integrated with policies, then the Commission must partnership schemes focused on eventual accession; such
put in place an overall, consistent and integrated strategy regional innovation strategies must nevertheless have a
that guarantees complementarity and synergy between cross-border as well as a national dimension;
activities concerned with information/back-up and
mechanism for exploiting RTD. 6.1.4. giving an additional stimulus to inter-firm
link-up strategies by integrating existing mechanisms
5.2. In the view of the Committee this strategy should (BC-NET, Interprise ....) with key thematic actions of
be based on the following: the Fifth Framework Programme, and possibly using
the ‘Joint European Ventures’ financial instrument to
support joint ventures;
— the need to promote and remove barriers between
specialized support services;
6.1.5. offering more vigorous support for contractual
— the need to set up initial guidance units; relations between universities, research institutes, train-
ing centres and firms in order to develop, through
— the need to develop Community instruments to partnerships set up to share knowledge, a culture of
ensure that this strategy of consistency and inte- innovation, link-ups and the transfer of know-how;
gration gets off the ground;
— the need to guarantee consistency beyond the bounds 6.1.6. strengthening, and removing barriers between,
of the European Union. sectoral or horizontal technology monitoring mecha-
nisms which today are insufficiently developed and too
centred on the Member States themselves, the aim being
6. Promoting and removing the barriers between spe- to ensure that European enterprises have access to a
cialized support services coherent economic intelligence mechanism capable of
rapidly detecting adaptable technologies at the lowest
cost.
6.1. The aim would be to develop the principle of
‘mediation’, which would mean internal or external
(public or private) back-up services being used to 6.2. The European Union must therefore ensure that
offer advice and support to enterprises and research its own networks (Innovation Relay Centres, Craft
organizations in respect of the transfer of technologies, Contact points ...) are part and parcel of this ‘mediation’
C 284/24 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 14.9.98

mechanism. Community networks must be set up 7.4. The network of Euro-Info-Centres (EIC),
within existing organizations and must be known and strengthened recently by associated EIC and head-of-
recognized by potential users. Their function is to offer network EIC, fits in well with this concept of initial
a complementary service and they must focus on clear guidance units. The Committee therefore recommends
objectives to avoid duplication and dilution. Above all, that Euro-Info-Centres be allotted the tasks of initial
the Union must support the principle of ‘mediation’ guidance units.
networks and ensure that their compartmentalization is
broken down with financial help from the 5th RTDFP,
without such networks being linked exclusively to 8. The need to provide the Community with instru-
Community programmes. ments to implement this strategy of coherence and
integration

8.1. The essence of these proposals is the desire for
7. The establishment of guidance units coherent actions and integrated objectives. The present
situation cannot be regarded as satisfactory. The Com-
mittee refuses to make proposals which would be
tantamount to superimposing structures or creating new
7.1. An initial survey of current national and Com- networks. The Committee considers that problems of
munity measures to promote information and RTD coordination and coherence must be tackled at a political
exploitation shows that there is already a very rich and level. This would entail:
deep vein of initiatives, networks and programmes
involving a wide spectrum of players. A large number 8.1.1. The publication by the Commission of a
of public bodies, associations, consultancies and enter- Communication on RTD information and exploitation
prises specializing in RTD exploitation are active in the networks, with a prioritization scheme, a description of
different areas covered by these specialized services. But complementary features, and a mention of the resources
if activities are pursued in watertight compartments, available for guaranteeing coherence. The European
this rich diversity can very quickly develop into an Commission must assume its responsibilities and work
overabundance and end up by creating considerable on improving synergies.
confusion and inefficiencies. So rather than superim-
posing new networks on existing ones, the Committee 8.1.2. The organization of a Users’ Group, for net-
proposes to explore the possibility of improving syner- works, comprising all types of users (enterprises,
gies between existing mechanisms. research centres, universities, intermediate agencies,
professional associations, chambers of commerce, indus-
try and trades) and with the task of monitoring the
7.2. The Committee therefore considers that if the objectives of coherence and integration and ensuring
specialized services which enterprises require are to be that the mechanisms of information and RTD exploi-
encouraged, top priority should be given to removing tation are available to a wider audience. This Group
barriers between the different networks. It is not a could be organized in conjunction with the ESC and its
question of creating new structures which would provide Section for Energy, Nuclear Questions and Research
the whole range of services but of supporting existing within the framework of its role of monitoring and
local organizations in their new task of offering guidance, evaluating.
identifying problems and supporting specialized services
in order to organize resources and coordinate the 8.2. The role of the European Union would also be
provision of services to SMEs. Such organizations would to organize a ‘standing conference of networks’ (in the
therefore be both ‘first-stop shops’ and guidance units. form of a ‘virtual conference’ with the help of modern
Whilst having a light profile, these units should neverthe- communication technologies. The conference would be
less be firmly established within representative orga- responsible for organizing the interfaces between the
nizations or at least organizations recognized by indus- different ‘mediation’ networks belonging to, or sup-
try. Ideally, they should not be completely dependent ported by, the Union, the innovation units of the
on the State, nor be subject to mere commercial interests, different thematic programmes of the 5th RTDFP, the
but should come under the umbrella of non-profit initial guidance network (EIC) and the other European
making associations or similar institutions governed by and national mechanisms for the provision of infor-
private law, professional associations, or chambers of mation and RTD exploitation, including Eureka actions,
commerce, industry or the small business sector. In the OECD networks, etc.
interests of efficiency, such units must reflect local
realities and could be organized on either a local or
sectoral basis. 9. Guaranteeing consistency beyond the bounds of the
European Union

7.3. It is nevertheless vital for the units to satisfy a 9.1. In preparing for future enlargement the European
certain number of criteria such as the capacity to Union and its Member States should be invited forthwith
mobilize local expertise, the ability to open up lines of to expand this overall strategy to applicant countries as
communication with the different parties involved in part of the pre-accession strategy. As far as the other
research, familiarity with the various programmes of countries of central and eastern Europe, the countries
public support for research, links with universities and of the former USSR and non-EU Mediterranean
private laboratories, etc. countries are concerned, enterprise partnership pro-
14.9.98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 284/25

grammes and industrial cooperation centres should be on RTD on the basis of the principles of reciprocity and
set up to stimulate the exchange of technological mutual interest.
know-how and promote technological agreements
(licences, transfer of patents ...), between enterprises. 9.3. Schemes could be launched with the developing
The Committee recommends that the resources of Phare, countries, and more especially our partners under the
Tacis and MEDA be mobilized to this end. Lomé Convention, to create favourable conditions for
the dissemination of technologies geared to the needs
of their economies and particularly SMEs and local
craft-based industries. In its opinion on the Green Paper
9.2. Notwithstanding the priority given to the appli- on the future of the Lomé Convention (1), the Committee
cant countries, our other neighbours and the Euro- had proposed horizontal instruments for cooperation
Mediterranean Area, it is desirable for the European and the dissemination of technological innovations
Union to join forces with our main developed partners under the new European Development Fund.
in promoting the opening up of networks for the
promotion, exploitation and provision of information (1) OJ C 296, 29.9.1997, p. 65.

Brussels, 1 July 1998.

The President
of the Economic and Social Committee
Tom JENKINS

Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee on the ‘Costs of poverty and social exclusion
in Europe’

(98/C 284/07)

On 11 July 1996, the Economic and Social Committee decided to draw up an opinion, in
accordance with Rule 23(3) of its Rules of Procedure, on the ‘Costs of poverty and social
exclusion in Europe’.
The Section for Social, Family, Education and Cultural Affairs, which was responsible for
preparing the Committee’s work on the subject, adopted its opinion on 18 June 1998 (the
rapporteur was Mr Burnel).
At its 356th plenary session held on 1 and 2 July 1998 (meeting of 1 July), the Economic and
Social Committee (ESC) adopted the following opinion by 130 votes to six, with 14 abstentions.

I. THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE — Interim programme to combat poverty (3).
CALLS ATTENTION TO THE SEVERITY OF THE
SITUATION — Specific action to combat poverty (4).

1. The ESC has always paid considerable attention — Amendment to the decision on a specific Community
to inequality and injustice; it has therefore always been action to combat poverty (5).
concerned about poverty and its extreme manifestation,
namely social exclusion. The following opinions and — Information Report on poverty (March 1989) (not
reports issued by the ESC serve to demonstrate its published in the Official Journal).
concern for this issue:
— Programme of pilot schemes and studies to combat — The economic and social integration of the least-
poverty (1). privileged groups (6).

— Modifications to the programme of pilot studies to
combat poverty (2).
(4) OJ C 113, 7.5.1980.
(5) OJ C 25, 28.1.1985.
(2) OJ C 263, 17.11.1975. (6) OJ C 263, 20.10.1986.
(3) OJ C 180, 28.7.1977. (7) OJ C 159, 26.6.1989.