COST is the oldest framework of scientific cooperation of European countries established in 1971 at the first Conference of 19 ministers of science. Since 2009, Bosnia and Herzegovina is full member of COST.
At the head of COST is the CSO (Committee of Senior Officials), which consists of the national COST coordinators and representatives of the relevant state institutions of the member states. There are technical committees for areas with a large number of projects (telecommunications, traffic, etc.).
Participation in projects is regulated by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, which does not have the power of an inter-state agreement, so it does not have to be verified by the parliaments of the member states. Funding of projects is at the state level, and the results of the research are common to all participants in the project. As a rule, projects are of common interest to a number of countries or of general interest (environment, oceanography, meteorology), or of interest to create common standards for the whole of Europe. The advantage of cooperation within COST is the fact that equal cooperation on projects creates conditions for all other forms of international cooperation, and the national program is linked to research in Europe and the world.
The COST program is particularly focused on those areas of research where joint actions can bring and benefit the participating countries. While accents at the time of the establishment were in the field of telecommunications, information technology, transport, materials, oceanography, meteorology and the environment, more and more of today’s initiatives are turning to social sciences, chemistry, medical research and forestry. COST promotes the concept of “bottom-up working”, where each member state can launch an action, which in turn can involve several projects. Such a flexible approach led to the successful coordination of more than 200 actions, which opened the way for some other EU research programs.
The COST program has four basic principles from its beginnings:
Openness: All COST countries, whether they are EU members or not, can propose research actions.
Freedom of choice: participation in shares is free for all COST countries depending on their national priorities and interests.
Decentralized funding: research is funded at the state level.
Joint actions: research activities at the state level are coordinated by the Management Committee.
Web link – http://www.cost.eu