26 Sep 2019

Group of Chief Scientific Advisers presents Opinion on scientific advice for policy making


On 26 September 2019, the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors handed over a new opinion "Science Advice to European Policy in a Complex World” to Commissioner Carlos Moedas during their 19th plenary meeting in Brussels. The opinion is primarily addressed to policymakers making use of scientific advice across the European Commission. It will be of relevance to the governance of scientific advice in the Commission. 

The opinion recommends a number of changes in scientific advisory processes, and proposes that these are formalised in a Code of Practice. The recommendations include:

  • Bridging the gap between scientists, policy makers and the public through early engagement with policymakers to define questions jointly, and involving stakeholders and the public in the process of developing scientific advice.
  • More rigorous quality control of the scientific evidence and of expert consultations that inform policy. The approach to conflict of interest for scientific experts should be improved to ensure transparency and consistency, e.g. through clear expert selection and exclusion criteria.
  • Greater openness by scientific advisers to explain and communicate uncertainties in the scientific evidence and the reasons for diverging scientific views.

The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors, established in October 2015, supports the Commission with high-quality, timely and independent scientific advice for its policymaking activities. The Group comprises up to seven independent eminent scientists, appointed in their personal capacity.

The opinion can be downloaded here.