On 15 September, a new initiative brought scientists from all over Europe together with members of the European and national parliaments, with the aim of improving the culture of evidence-informed policy-making and to stress the importance of science. The event, held in the European Parliament and complemented with tailored bilateral meetings, set the basis for greater and continued cooperation.
Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth & Sport, responsible for the JRC, said ahead of event: "Social exclusion, inequalities, climate change – these are just some of the challenges facing European policy-makers today. Sound scientific evidence is needed to tackle them. That is why it is crucial that we bring scientists and policy-makers together, so they can learn to better understand and work with each other. I hope we can put Science Meets Parliaments on the map as an annual event – in Brussels and across Europe – that helps to achieve this important goal."
Speakers at the opening session included also Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner responsible for Research, Science and Innovation, Mairead McGuinness, Vice-President of the European Parliament (EP) and Jerzy Buzek, Chairman of the EP Committee on Industry, Research and Energy as well as the moderators, Vladimír Šucha, Director-General of the JRC and Paul Rübig, Chairman of the EP Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA).
Several umbrella scientific organisations, such as EASAC, CESAER, Euro-CASE, ALLEA, Leibnitz Association as well as UNESCO, took part in the event addressing the main challenges for improved science/policy collaboration. Bilateral meetings between members of the European Parliament and scientists from the JRC and other research organisations were organised. Topics requested by the parliamentarians ranged from circular economy, resource efficiency, Digital Single Market, Industry 4.0 to carbon capture and storage and how patents can influence medical care.
The "Science meets Parliaments" event, organised by the JRC and the EP's Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) panel, builds on successful experiences with similar events organised in several Member States, for example Germany, France and the United Kingdom.