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19 May 2015

Science Europe welcomes EC's new Scientific Advice Mechanism

Science Europe, the association of major European research funding and research performing organisations, has issued a Statement welcoming the establishment of a Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) by the European Commission. The Commission had announced on 15 May 2015 that it intended to set up a new mechanism to provide independent scientific advice, after the mandate of the former Chief Scientific Adviser had expired with the term of office of the previous Commission.

While Science Europe is pleased that the Commission is planning to set up such a mechanism and to provide for structured exchanges of the SAM with national advisory bodies, it warned against such a structure becoming "too complex to be truly effective". The association called for "a very clear mandate for the SAM, and a clear definition of its role within the scientific advice structures that already exist, including the Joint Research Centre (JRC). Crucially, there must also be absolute clarity about who are the recipients of its advice, and it will need the autonomy and necessary support to provide advice on all relevant matters and at all times, not only on the basis of explicit requests or demand by the recipients."

Science Europe calls on the Commission to ensure that the SAM can express unambiguous scientific opinion, while at the same time being idependent enough to "be a dissenting voice when needed". It also stresses the need for evidence-based policy making as one of the guiding principles of the European institutions, to ensure that policies respond to societal challenges and to the needs of citizens.

For more information:

Science Europe - press release

Science Advice Mechanism (presentation by the Commission)

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