The importance of photonic technologies for the European economy is recognized by the European Union and enjoys
continued support. The mechanisms of the European Union to support research and development by introducing the "7th
European Framework Program for Collaborative Research" are outlined. The topical content of the Framework Program
is presented, as well as its implementation and in particular the support of photonic components related research and
development. We will highlight the importance of the collaborative European effort and give examples of its impact. We
will then provide an overview of the current topics supported by the European Commission. We will conclude by
presenting the long term vision and giving indications on the likely research priorities for Photonic Components in the
ICT Workprogram 2009-2010 of the 7th Framework Program (FP7).