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Commission's new Scientific Advice Mechanism kicks off with first meeting of advisors

Brussels, 29 January 2016

The new Scientific Advice Mechanism that will support the European Commission with high quality, timely and independent scientific advice is now operational, with the first meeting of the newly-formed High Level Group of Scientific Advisors taking place in Brussels today

The seven leading scientists who form the High Level Group met with Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and with Andrus Ansip, the Commission's Vice-President responsible for the Digital Single Market. They agreed that issues surrounding cybersecurity would be one subject for the Group's first scientific advice to the Commission, contributing to efforts to build trust in the development of the Digital Single Market.

The group will also examine CO2 emissions from cars and vans, with a view to exploring possibilities for future policies regulating their measurement to ever closer reflect real-world driving conditions. The Group will now work with the Commission services to refine the scope of the issues at stake, and will make available a document setting out the scope of their work in the coming weeks.

The Group addressed how it will work with the wider scientific community and in particular with European academies and learned societies and discussed practical details such as the frequency of its meetings. The Group nominated a Chair and deputy Chair: Professor Henrik C. Wegener, Executive Vice-President and Chief Academic Officer, Technical University of Denmark, and Professor Elvira Fortunato, Professor of Materials Science, New University of Lisbon, respectively.

Commissioner Carlos Moedas said: "Today's first meeting of the High Level Group of Scientific Advisors was an excellent start. Their experience, expertise and plans to consult European Academies of Sciences and the wider scientific community, will make an important independent contribution to science advice for European policymaking”.

Henrik C. Wegener, newly designated Chair of the High Level Group of Scientific Advisors to the European Commission said: “I welcome the requests from the Commission for the Group to start its activities straight away with providing independent scientific advice on cybersecurity and on future CO2 vehicle emissions. Both of these are complex and challenging topics. The High Level Group is looking forward to bringing the very best scientific evidence to bear on these topics.”

The minutes of the meeting and background documents will be published on the website of the Scientific Advice Mechanism.

Background

The objective of the Scientific Advice Mechanism is to ensure that the Commission has access to the best possible scientific advice, independent of institutional or political interests. It will bring together evidence and insight from different disciplines and approaches, take into consideration the specificities of EU policy making, and ensure transparency. It complements the in-house scientific services of the Joint Research Centre, agencies and existing specialist committees.

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