Ref. Ares(2016)6112228 - 25/10/2016
Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
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MANDATE OF THE “DEFENCE RESEARCH ADVISORY GROUP” FOR THE
PREPARATORY ACTION ON DEFENCE RESEARCH
Under the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (2017-2019)1, the Commission is
responsible for drawing up the work programmes. In doing so, the Commission wishes to
draw on the best possible external advice.
Members of the “Defence Research Advisory Group” (DEFAG) should provide
consistent and consolidated advice to the Commission services during the preparation of
the annual work programmes within the frame of the Preparatory Action.
Advice should be provided on relevant objectives and scientific, technological and
innovation priorities by way of opinions, recommendations or reports.
Advice should pertain to all activities under this challenge, including, where relevant,
international cooperation; multidisciplinarity, including social and economic sciences and
humanities, and cross-cutting research and innovation; responsible research and
innovation including gender; research career development, doctoral training, and skills;
bridging from discovery to market application; responding to emerging needs and
unforeseen policy needs; sustainable development and climate change; dissemination,
knowledge transfer and broader public engagement; SME participation; and societal and
The Advisory Group must provide a written input to be made public for each work
programme. The advice received from the Group will complement other sources of
external advice received by the Commission services. While providing the Group with
feedback on the use of the advice and input given, the Commission and its services retain
the right of initiative. The Advisory Group does not take binding decisions.
1 Reference to decision on the PA
Commission européenne/Europese Commissie, 1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, BELGIQUE/BELGIË - Tel. +32 22991111
The Group may also be consulted in the preparation of the scoping paper, the planning
document setting out key orientations on a multiannual basis to guide the preparations of
the work programmes.
The Group may be asked to provide recommendations on potential experts evaluators in
relation to calls for proposals under their mandate. The final selection of experts will
remain the responsibility of the Commission services and funding bodies.
Experts participate in the Group in their individual capacity or as individuals representing
an interest or an organisation.
Experts commit themselves to discuss questions put forward and provide advice in their
relevant field of expertise to the best of their ability and in the best interest of EU
research and innovation. They also commit themselves to respect the rules related to
confidentiality and conflicts of interest.
Advice to the Commission is the result of discussions within the Group. This advice is
expected to represent the consensus view of the Group. However, in the event that a
consensus cannot be found, for whatever reason, individual experts may request to have
divergent views recorded.
As well as bringing forward their own collective expertise, the Group may also be a focal
point for processing inputs from across society related to this challenge. The Group will
thereby support outreach and strengthening of the Commission services' dialogue with a
wider group of stakeholders.
COORDINATION OF ADVISORY GROUPS
To avoid fragmentation and to ensure that cross-cutting issues and opportunities for joint
action are identified, the Group Chairs may meet occasionally. In addition, the experts
with expertise in the mainstreamed cross-cutting issues like, for instance, gender may
also meet on a regular basis to provide a critical mass of specialised expertise to assist
with additional horizontal advice on such important issues, while at the same time
ensuring clear links between the horizontal and more specialised level.
DURATION OF SERVICE
Each expert will serve for the duration of the Preparatory Action.
CHAIRS, VICE-CHAIRS, RAPPORTEURS
During the first meeting, the Group shall elect the Chair and, if needed, the Vice-chair by
a simple majority for the duration of the Preparatory Action.
As it is a requirement that each Group provides a written input for each work
programme, considerations should be given to nominating a rapporteur.
The Commission services may choose the frequency of meetings which seems most
appropriate, provided that the Group is properly involved in the preparation of each work
programme. However, as a general principle, the Group should meet at least 2 times a
year to discuss the general orientations and documents as well as questions put forward
by the services.
Working groups composed of a sub-set of experts may be created for specific purposes in
agreement with the Commission services. They shall operate in accordance with the rules
laid down by the Advisory Group and with the horizontal Commission rules for expert
groups, and shall be dissolved as soon as their mandate is fulfilled.
Additional experts may be invited to the meetings of the Group to take part in
discussions on a particular subject.
The meetings of the Advisory Group and subgroups shall, in principle, be held on
DATA PROTECTION AND TRANSPARENCY
The group shall be registered in the Register of Commission expert groups and other
similar entities (‘the Register of expert groups’).
As concerns the group composition, DG GROW shall publish the following data on the
Register of expert groups:
the name of individuals appointed in a personal capacity;
the name of individuals appointed to represent a common interest; the interest
represented shall be disclosed;
the name of observers.
DG GROW shall make available all relevant documents, including the agendas, the
minutes and the participants’ submissions, either on the Register of expert groups or via
link from the Register to a dedicated website, where this information can be found.
Access to dedicated websites shall not be submitted to user registration or any other
restriction. In particular, the DG GROW shall ensure publication of the agenda and other
relevant background documents in due time ahead of the meeting, followed by timely
publication of minutes. Exceptions to publication shall only be foreseen where it is
deemed that disclosure of a document would undermine the protection of a public or
private interest as defined in Article 4 of Regulation (EC) N° 1049/20012.
2 These exceptions are intended to protect public security, military affairs, international relations,
financial, monetary or economic policy, privacy and integrity of the individual, commercial interests,
court proceedings and legal advice, inspections/investigations/audits and the institution's decision-
Personal data shall be collected, processed and published in accordance with Regulation
(EC) No 45/2001.
The work programme to be adopted by the Commission may provide an overview of how
the advice provided by the Group and other sources of external advice have been used.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Individuals applying to be appointed as members of the group in a personal capacity
must disclose any circumstances that could give rise to a conflict of interest by
submitting a declaration of interests (’DOI’) form on the basis of the standard DOI form
for expert groups attached to this call. Submission of a duly completed DOI form is
necessary in order to be eligible to be appointed in a personal capacity. DG GROW shall
perform the conflict of interest assessment in compliance with the horizontal rules3.
The rules on confidentiality and conflict of interest cover::
The members of the Advisory Group, as well as invited experts and observers, are
subject to the obligation of professional secrecy, which by virtue of the Treaties
and the rules implementing them applies to all members of the institutions and
their staff, as well as to the Commission's rules on security regarding the
protection of Union classified information, laid down in Commission Decisions
(EU, Euratom) 2015/4434 and 2015/4445. Experts are therefore required to not
divulge information given in the context of the work of the Advisory Group
unless the Commission agrees to release them from the confidentiality
obligations. At the same time, experts must ensure the protection of such
confidential information and documents with the same level of protection it uses
to protect its own confidential information, but in no case any less than
reasonable care. Should they fail to comply with these obligations the
Commission may take appropriate measures, including, if necessary, the partial or
total exclusion of the expert from the Advisory Group meetings.
The Advisory Group experts must not use confidential information and
documents for any purpose other than fulfilling their obligations and must not
seek nor act in any way to take advantage of or exercise undue influence on the
implementation of the Preparatory Action.
Participation in the Group will not be compatible with the following conflicts of interest:
Assisting the Commission services in evaluating proposals and monitoring
projects under the specific areas of research, innovation and technological
development covered by this Advisory Group.
3 Article 11 of the Commission Decision on the horizontal rules on the creation and operation of
Commission expert groups C(2016)3301.
4 Commission Decision (EU, Euratom) 2015/443 of 13 March 2015 on Security in the Commission (OJ
L 72, 17.3.2015, p. 41).
5 Commission Decision (EU, Euratom) 2015/444 of 13 March 2015 on the security rules for protecting
EU classified information (OJ L 72, 17.3.2015, p. 53).
Acting as Member State delegates/representatives or experts/advisers
accompanying Member States delegates/representatives, or Associated State
observers, in the Programme Committee assisting the Commission; or called as
experts before these committees (except the Chair-person of the Group who can
be invited by the Chair-person of a Committee to present the work of the
The Advisory Group experts may participate in consortia under the Preparatory Action.
However, should any item of the agenda or any subject discussed in a given meeting of
the Group be of relevance for projects or proposals under the Preparatory Action that an
expert, or the organisation to which he/she belongs, has submitted or is likely to submit,
the expert in question should inform the Commission services and the Group of the
situation as soon as they are aware. The same applies in other situations that could give
rise to a conflict of interest (e.g. involvement of a close family member). The
Commission will then take a decision on the participation of the expert on a case by case
basis. The person in question may therefore be requested to abstain from the
deliberations and/or leave the room during the discussion of the concerned item/subject.
If necessary, the expert may be excluded partially or totally from the Advisory Group
As a general rule, if an expert has a conflict of interest, he/she must declare it to the
responsible Commission official as soon as he/she becomes aware of it, and specify the
nature of the conflict. The Advisory Group experts must inform the Commission services
of all interests, not explicitly stated above, which could be considered prejudicial to their
independence or impartiality.
When an Advisory Group expert knowingly conceals a conflict of interest and this is
discovered once a member, the Commission will exclude the expert in question from the
group, without prejudice to penalties that may derive from other applicable Regulations.
Travel and subsistence expenses will be reimbursed according to Commission decision of
5 December 20076.
6 Rules on the reimbursement of expenses incurred by experts from outside the Commission invited to
attend meetings in an expert capacity, C(2007)5858.