The paper reviews the objectives and the status of the current EU long-term materials program. It highlights recent results, discusses some of the key issues and major existing problems to be resolved and presents an outlook on the R&D planned for the next few years. The main objectives of the Materials Development program are the development and qualification of reduced activation structural materials for the Test Blanket Modules (TBMs) in ITER and of low activation structural materials resistant to high fluence neutron irradiation for in-vessel components such as breeding blanket, divertor and first wall in DEMO. The EU strategy assumes: (i) ITER operation starting in 2015 with DEMO relevant Test Blanket Modules to be installed from day one of operation, (ii) IFMIF operation in 2017 and (iii) DEMO final design activities in 2022 to 2025. The EU candidate structural material EUROFER for TBMs has to be fully code qualified for licensing well before 2015. In parallel, research on materials for operation at higher temperatures is conducted following a logical sequence, by supplementing EUROFER with the oxide dispersion strengthened ferritic steels and, thereafter, with fibre-reinforced Silicon Carbide (SiCf/SiC). Complementary, tungsten alloys are developed as structural material for high temperature applications such as gas-cooled divertors.