The article analyzes the most important documents prepared by the Council of Europe, the European Commission and experts of EU institutions, which relate to the directions of the present research strategy of the European Union. It describes the principal factors that determine the implementation of the EU policy of support for research and technological development efforts against the background of existing and developing systems of assistance to science and research work. The article presents the aims of the organization of the European Research Area as well as the conditions of the utilization of the triangle of knowledge for the purpose of civilization and economic advancement of the EU countries. It also provides essential information on the conditions of implementation of the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme, with special emphasis on its utilization for the purpose of stimulating research and technological progress in the food and agricultural sector. The authors of the article also discuss the state of the execution of the EU countries' obligations in respect of the allocation of funds for research and development from state budgets and from non-budget sources.