Stronger EU foreign policy via the art of science diplomacy
Scientists and diplomats in the European Union could soon work more closely together thanks to EU-funded research which is aiming to encourage this collaboration to strengthen science diplomacy capacities that will contribute to EU foreign policy goals and commitments.
© tumsasedgars #246323397, 2019 source: stock.adobe.com
The EUs leadership in scientific research is often underexploited as part of its foreign policy and diplomacy goals. In response, the EU-funded S4D4C project aims to develop proposals policymakers can use when developing ways to better exploit science diplomacy in EU approaches with other countries, while providing solutions to societal challenges.
The project describes science diplomacy as activities that bring together science and diplomacy. Examples include providing scientific advice to multilateral climate negotiations or establishing international research cooperation with another country as a means of improving foreign relations.
Science diplomacy has the potential to improve additional communication channels, particularly in stalemate situations and in sensitive bilateral and multilateral issues. It promotes cooperation and conflict prevention, rebuilds trust and fosters shared understanding across countries, regions and cultures.
The project brings together scholars of foreign and science policy, advisors, science diplomacy professionals and diplomatic training institutions to analyse examples of EU science diplomacy in action.
Through a series of case studies, the project team intends to investigate past, current and potential future science diplomacy approaches. It has selected a first set of cases focusing on EU foreign policy goals and a second set on relevant developments in EU research. A third set will examine the opportunities provided by EU research instruments and infrastructures.
The researchers will use the case studies to reflect on past lessons, analyse current practices and assess the future potential for EU science diplomacy. From this, the project will craft a governance framework to guide EU science diplomacy, along with recommendations on where the discipline can have the biggest impact.
S4D4C is also developing training modules for science diplomats to help the EU position itself as a global leader in exploiting science and science diplomacy for the benefit of foreign policy and society.