We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
In 2015, the JRC and the European Parliament Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) launched "Science meets Parliaments".
The objective of this initiative was to build closer links between scientists and EU policy makers, in order to promote a culture of evidence-informed policymaking.
But policymaking takes place also at other levels.
Regions and cities across Europe play a vital role.
Hence the launch, in 2016, of "Science meets Regions" in collaboration with the Committee of the Regions.
After a number of pilots (Karlsruhe, Hessen, Trieste, Bratislava, Sofia, and Espoo), more countries and regions joined the scheme in 2017.
A final high level event concluded both initiatives.
The initiative was so successful that the European Parliament decided to finance a pilot project "Science meets Parliaments / Science meets Regions" in 2018. The project comprises three main lines of action:
It builds on previous initiatives and expands them to the whole of the EU.
The selection procedure took place via an informal call for expression of interest, which closed in June 2018, followed by a series of calls for tender. This allowed the interested countries, regions and cities to submit a detailed offer.
The offers were evaluated on their intrinsic merits and the policy impact they were likely to generate. Finally, 26 events in 22 member states were selected
The events give scientists the opportunity to present their work.
They also allow policymakers to communicate their needs and explain their priorities.
An issue of paramount importance is citizens' trust in science. In the current climate of distrust towards science and evidence, we need new ways of engaging with citizens.
Interactive communication tools and the development specific audio-visual material contribute to this goal.
Each event focuses on a topic relevant to the regional/national level.
Targeted preparatory studies and reports will help to frame the discussion.
A major stepping stone will be promoting the concept on a global scale with one pilot event in a non-EU country.
To wrap up the project, a high level event will take place in Brussels.