European research and technological development framework programmes, managed by the European Commission, place increasingly greater emphasis on the environment and health. This contribution is far from negligible, as research is the third largest beneficiary of the European Union budget, after agriculture and structural funds.
The European research and technological development policy aims to make industry more competitive in the community at an international level. But this community support for research efforts also contributes to the quality of life of the general public beyond the purely economic aspects, as well as working towards sustainable development.
- The fifth framework programme (1998-2002) for research and technological development already included the promotion of quality of life and health, along with environmental conservation, amongst its social objectives to be accomplished.
- In the sixth framework programme (2002-2006), concern for the environment and health has been included, notably in the section on “policy support and anticipation of scientific and technological needs”.
- The seventh framework programme (2007-2013) includes environmental and health concerns in various places.