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High Level Group for Joint Programming (GPC)

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Joint Programming is a process combining a strategic framework, a bottom-up approach and high-level commitment from the Member States. It builds on the experience gained from existing schemes coordinating national programmes.

The High Level Group for Joint Programming (GPC) is a high level body which deals with different aspects of the joint programming process, such as: the identification of the themes for joint programming; the evaluation of the proposals for the themes; the contribution to the preparation of the debates and decisions of the Competitiveness Council on joint programming; and also considering certain important issues concerning the development and implementation of joint programming (e.g. peer review procedures, foresight activities, evaluation of joint programmes, funding of cross-border research by national or regional authorities, optimum dissemination and use of research findings, involvement of the various scientific and industry communities).

The mandate of the Group is annexed to the Council conclusions concerning joint programming of research in Europe in response to major societal challenges (OJ C 24 of 2009, p. 3). The Group is composed of nominees from the Member States and the Commission.

Based on the results of the GPC deliberations, the Council, upon a proposal from the Commission, recommends a limited number of areas in which to implement joint programming in priority.

On 3 December 2009 the Council in its conclusions (17226/09) adopted a pilot Joint Programming Initiative on Neurodegenerative Diseases (including Alzheimer's disease).

On 12 October 2010 the Council in its conclusions (14976/10) launched three joint programming initiatives on: 

  • 'Agriculture, Food security and Climate Change',
  • 'Cultural Heritage and Global Change – A new challenge for Europe', and
  • 'A healthy diet for a healthy life.


At present the work is being done to launch six other initiatives which were welcomed by the Council in May 2010 (10246/10):

  • 'Connecting Climate Knowledge for Europe (Clik'EU)',
  • 'Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans',
  • 'More Years, Better Lives - The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change',
  • 'The microbial challenge - An emerging threat to human health',
  • 'Urban Europe - Global Challenges, Local Solutions' and
  • 'Water Challenges for a Changing World'.