Juncker announces new mechanism for scientific advice
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, who is responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, and Research, Science and Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas met with eminent scientists for a working lunch on 13 May 2015, to discuss the new mechanism for scientific advice for the European Commission. The group of Nobel and Wolf Prize laureates included Sir Paul Nurse, Jules Hoffmann, Serge Haroche, László Lovász, Jean Tirole and Edvard Ingjald Moser.
Their exchange of views focused on how to best institutionalise independent scientific advice in the European Commission, complementing existing in-house services and external expertise, after the mandate of the Chief Scientific Advisor Prof. Anne Glover had expired with the conclusion of the previous Commission. According to the Commission, the objective is to ensure that this advice mechanism is independent of institutional or political interests, brings together evidence and insights from different disciplines and approaches, and that it is transparent. It should also take account of different national perspectives, as well as of the principles of proportionality and subsidiarity.
To meet these objectives, President Juncker has endorsed Commissioner Moedas' recommendation to set up a future mechanism for high quality, timely, independent high-level scientific advice, drawing on the wide range of scientific expertise in Europe through a close and structured relationship with advisory bodies in Member States (national academies and other bodies), and coordinated by a High-Level Group of Independent Scientists. Commissioner Moedas has now been tasked to implement this new arrangement over the coming months, involving other Commissioners and Commission services, in order to make the new model "contribute to the Commission's continued pursuit of the best possible evidence-based policy", as the Commissioner put it (for details of the proposed mechanism, see download below). According to the Commission, the new mechanism should be operational as of autumn 2015.
Speaking on the occasion of announcing this new scientific advice mechanism, President Juncker also addressed the impact of the proposed European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), saying that "Investing in research is a priority for Europe. We are currently in the last miles of negotiations with the European Parliament and the Council to get the European Fund for Strategic Investment up and running. I am actively working with the co-legislators to make sure that the potential short-term impact on fundamental research - which I know has been a concern in the research community - is minimised."
For more information:
Photo: From left to right, in the 1st row, Serge Haroche, Jyrki Katainen, Paul Nurse, Jean-Claude Juncker, Jules Hoffman and Carlos Moedas, in the 2nd row, Edvard Ingjald Moser, László Lovász and Jean Tirole (by European Commission)