Meetings

Details of meetings held by the European Commission's Group of Chief Scientific Advisors


12 – 13 January 2019

16th meeting of the EC’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors

Dr Mona Nemer (Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of Canada) was welcomed to the meeting in London and participated in the discussions on the topic ‘Environmental and Health Risks of Microplastic Pollution’, including preparations of the G7-like roundtable on micro- and nano-plastics on 13 February 2019 in Washington.

The Chief Scientific Advisors:

  • Decided to establish a Scientific Opinion on ‘Transforming the Future of Ageing’
  • Agreed on the scoping paper for the topic ‘Towards an EU Sustainable Food System’
  • Took note of follow-up of the published Scientific Opinion ‘Authorisation Processes of Plant Protection Products in Europe’ (published on 4 June 2018).

They also discussed:

  • Ongoing work on ‘Making Sense of Science under Conditions of Complexity and Uncertainty’, including a presentation by David Mair (DG Joint Research Centre) on the ‘Enlightenment 2.0’ project
  • Possible follow-up activities concerning their statement on gene editing
  • The candidate topic ‘Climate Change and Health’

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4-5 December 2018

15th meeting of the EC’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors

Commissioners Phil Hogan and Carlos Moedas (Agriculture and Rural Development and Research, Science and Innovation respectively) were welcomed to the meeting in Brussels and discussed the topic ‘Sustainable Food Systems’. A member of Commissioner Andriukaitis’ cabinet (Health and Food Safety) also participated in the discussion.

The Advisors discussed their ongoing work on ‘Microplastic pollution’, including the forthcoming session at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting, February 2019; and a meeting co-organised with the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Canadian Government, Mona Nemer, ‘Scientific Advice Cooperation on Micro-plastics Pollution’.

The topics ‘Making Sense of Science under Conditions of Complexity and Uncertainty’ and ‘Transforming the Future of Ageing’ were also discussed, , and a representative of the Directorate General for Maritime and Fisheries updated the Advisors on the continuing impact of the scientific opinion ‘Food from the Oceans’.

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10-11 October 2018

14th meeting of the EU Group of Chief Scientific Advisors

Directors General Vladimir Šucha and Anne Bucher (Joint Research Centre and Health and Food Safety, respectively) were welcomed to the meeting in Brussels. DG Šucha and the Advisors discussed the ongoing SAM topic ‘Making Sense of Science under Conditions of Complexity and Uncertainty’ and the JRC project ‘Enlightenment 2.0’. DG Bucher and the Advisors discussed the Advisors’ statement on ‘gene editing’.

The Advisors continued their discussions on the potential for scientific advice to be provided on the topic of ‘Sustainable Food Systems’, and on work following the publication of their statement on Micro-plastic pollution. The Advisors continued to take note of the impact of their scientific advice to date.

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9-10 July 2018

13th meeting of the EU Group of Chief Scientific Advisors

During the 13th meeting of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors in Toulouse, the Chair welcomed the Group’s new member, Nicole Grobert, who was appointed by Commissioner Carlos Moedas in April 2018 as replacement of previous Group Member, Cedric Villani.

The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors discussed candidate ‘own initiative’ topics including Micro- and Nano-Plastics and Sustainable Food Systems. They took stock of ongoing topics and discussed follow-up of published Scientific Opinions on Novel Carbon Capture and Utilisation Technologies (published on 23 May 2018) and the Authorisation Processes of Plant Protection Products in Europe (published on 4 June 2018.)

During a lunch time exchange between European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas, Members of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors, and the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) further possibilities for cooperation between the two Groups were discussed. The Government of Canada's Chief Scientific Advisor Dr. Mona Nemer also met both Groups and shared her experience in the provision of scientific advice.

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27 April 2018

12th meeting of the EU Group of Chief Scientific Advisors

During the 12th meeting of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors in Brussels, the Scientific Advisors exchanged views with the new Director-General for Research and Innovation Jean-Eric Paquet on the work of the Scientific Advice Mechanism and its importance for European Policy. The meeting also included a presentation of the close-to-final scientific opinion ' Novel carbon capture and utilisation technologies  PDF icon 1.3 MB ’ to representatives of DG Climate Strategy and the Cabinet of European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete.

The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors discussed progress with the own-initiative topics ' Scoping Paper – Making Sense of Science under Conditions of Complexity and Uncertainty  PDF icon 515 KB ', and ' Transforming the Future of Ageing  PDF icon 301 KB '; they also took stock of preparatory work done for further candidate topics concerning 'Micro - and Nano - Plastics Pollution', including in particular the reporting on a ‘pre-scoping’ expert workshop on 26 April, and 'Sustainable Food Systems'. The Scientific Advisors took note of the relevance of the imminent preliminary ruling of the European Court of Justice concerning new techniques of mutagenesis for their Explanatory Note on 'New Techniques in Agricultural Biotechnology' and considered their possible continuation of the work in this area.

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31 January 2018

11th meeting of the High Level Group of SAM

The 11th meeting of the SAM HLG took place in Brussels, 31 January and 1 February. Highlights included Commissioners Carlos Moedas and Vytenis Andriukaitis (Research, Science and Innovation; and Health and Food Safety respectively) receiving an update on progress with the scientific opinion on Authorisation Processes of Plant Protection Products in Europe. This included details of the expert workshops that took place in December 2017.

The SAM HLG also discussed progress with the Novel carbon capture and utilisation technologies topic with representatives from SAPEA; further planned its participation in July 2018's European Science Open Forum (ESOF), where it plans to hold a joint session with the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, as well as its 13th plenary meeting; and proposed to work on a scientific opinion on a topic of its own choosing, focusing on how to provide good science advice to policymakers under conditions of scientific complexity and uncertainty. Commissioner Moedas welcomed this ‘own-initiative’ topic and will inform the College of European Commissioners.

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30 November 2017

10th meeting of the High Level Group of SAM

At the last meeting in 2017, on 29-30 November, the SAM HLG delivered their third scientific opinion, Food from the Oceans, to the European Commissioners for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, and for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella. The first SAPEA Evidence Review Report (ERR), which informed this Scientific Opinion, was also presented.

HLG members and SAPEA representatives discussed progress with the topics Carbon Capture and Utilisation Technologies and Authorisation Processes of Plant Protection Products in Europe. Draft scoping papers were presented for two possible 'own initiative' topics on the use of evidence for science advice to policy and on health in an ageing society.

SAM HLG and the Chair of the European Group on Ethics (EGE), Christiane Woopen, exchanged information and experiences on their groups and agreed on measures for developing an effective working relationship.

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5 September 2017

9th meeting of the High Level Group of SAM

The 9th meeting of the SAM HLG took place in Brussels with Carlos Moedas (European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation); Jos Delbeke (European Commission's Director General for Climate Action); Anne Bucher (Chair of the European Commission's Regulatory Scrutiny Board); the European Parliament's Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Bureau Chair Eva Kaili, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and 1st Vice Chair Paul Rübig, MEP; and European Academy organisation Presidents Günter Stock, Yves Caristan and Bernard Charpentier.

The HLG discussed progress with ongoing topics (Food from the Oceans; Authorisation Processes of Plant Protection Products in Europe; and Novel Carbon Capture and Utilisation Technologies) and candidate 'own-initiative' topics; follow-up of their scientific opinion on 'Closing the gap between light duty vehicle real-world CO2 emissions and laboratory testing'; and held an exchange of views on areas of common interest with the Regulatory Scrutiny Board and STOA Bureau.

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27-28 June 2017

8th meeting of the High Level Group of SAM

On 27 and 28 June 2017, the SAM HLG met for the 8th time, in Copenhagen, in order to allow its members to participate in the 4th European Conference for Science Journalists . The HLG met representatives of the SAPEA consortium and discussed progress with ongoing topics on Food from the Oceans, on Authorisation processes of plant protection products in Europe and on candidate ‘own-initiative’ topics on which the group may propose to deliver scientific advice to the College of European Commissioners. The HLG also adopted a scoping paper on Carbon capture and utilisation  PDF icon 362 KB .

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23-24 March 2017

7th meeting of the High Level Group of SAM

Group photo
HLG delivers its 2nd scientific opinion on Cybersecurity

On 23 and 24 March 2017, the SAM HLG met for the 7th time in Brussels. The HLG delivered a Scientific Opinion on Cybersecurity in the European Digital Single Market to Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. This is the Group’s second Scientific Opinion and it will support the European Commission’s revision of the EU’s Cybersecurity Strategy and the development of the Digital Single Market Strategy, having been requested by Andrus Ansip, European Comission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market.

Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries also attended the meeting, discussing with the HLG their ongoing work on the Scientific Opinion, “Food from the Oceans”.

The HLG also adopted a scoping paper for the preparation of a Scientific Opinion on “Authorisation of plant protection products in Europe from a scientific point of view”, a request from Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.

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30-31 January 2017

6th meeting of the High Level Group of SAM

Group photo
Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Moedas at the meeting of the HLG of SAM

On 30 and 31 January 2017, the High Level Group (HLG) of Scientific Advisors met for the 6th time in Brussels. The group presented draft findings from their work on the forthcoming scientific opinion on Cybersecurity in the European Digital Single Market to Commissioner Moedas and Commission Vice-President Ansip, responsible for the Digital Single Market. This scientific opinion is intended for adoption by the HLG and publication at the end of March 2017. The Group also met representatives of the European Network of Academies, who are working closely with the HLG as part of the Scientific Advice Mechanism.

The group also discussed its work on other ongoing topics and took stock of its first year.

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24-25 November 2016

5th meeting of the High Level Group of SAM

The fifth meeting of the Scientific Advice Mechanism's High Level Group (SAM HLG) took place in Brussels on November 24th -25th 2016. During the meeting the scoping papers of two new topics submitted to the SAM HLG were approved: A full opinion on "Food from the Oceans" and an explanatory note on "New techniques in agricultural biotechnology".

Following the conclusion of the Horizon 2020 grant "Science Advice for Policy by European Academies" (SAPEA), the expected contribution to the ongoing work of the SAM HLG was discussed.

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28 September 2016

4th meeting of the High Level Group of SAM

The fourth meeting of the Scientific Advice Mechanism's High Level Group (SAM HLG) took place in Brussels on September 28th 2016. The meeting mainly focus was on the scientific advice to the various topics in which the SAM HLG is active at present: Real-world CO2 emission testing for Light Duty Vehicles; and cybersecurity.

New topics were discussed in fields of high priority for the European Commission including the ones proposed by Commissioner Andriukaitis "Advice to support the forthcoming evaluation of pesticides legislation and an explanatory note on new breeding techniques".

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25 July 2016

3rd meeting of the High Level Group of SAM

The third meeting of the High Level Group (HLG) of Scientific Advisors took place on 25 July 2016 in Manchester (UK) at the occasion of the European Science Open Forum (ESOF) 2016.

During the meeting, the HLG discussed the progress on the two ongoing topics "Closing the gap between light duty vehicle real-drive CO2 emissions and laboratory testing" and "Cybersecurity". The group discussed as well the new demands received from Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food safety, for scientific advice to support the forthcoming evaluation of pesticides legislation and for an explanatory note on new breeding techniques (NBT).

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17 March 2016

2nd meeting of the High Level Group of SAM

On 16 and 17 March, the High Level Group (HLG) of Scientific Advisors met for the second time in Brussels, with Carlos Moedas (Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation) and Commissioner Navracsics (Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport) and with the presidents of five European Networks of Academies (Euro-CASE, EASAC, ALLEA, FEAM, Academia Europaea).

The HLG is moving out of its launch phase, and progress is being made on the first two topics on which the HLG has been asked for advice: "Closing the gap between light duty vehicle real-drive CO2 emissions and laboratory testing" and "Cybersecurity", as well as on the identification of additional topics to be addressed by SAM.

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29 January 2016

1st meeting of the High Level Group of SAM

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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.

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