The report also highlights the fact that 27% of the members of the panels that advise the EU on research are women. It does not, however, mention last year's report on mismanagement and fraud in the EU's research programmes. The report was highly critical of Edith Cresson, the commissioner for research, and led to the resignation of all 20 commissioners and the EU president, Jacques Santer.

The fifth framework programme, which was launched earlier this year, has a total budget of Euro 14.96 billion and will cover four broad themes: quality of life and management of living systems; the user-friendly information society; competitive and sustainable growth; and energy, environment and sustainable development. Unlike its predecessor, the fifth framework will also encourage collaborations with countries that are applying for membership of the EU.