Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the JRC said: "Informed and responsible policy decisions need to be based on solid facts, but channelling scientific evidence into the democratic process remains a challenge. We therefore need to keep building a new dialogue between scientists and policy makers at all levels. I welcome the openness of all partners to continue the discussions started last year. And I am pleased to see that throughout the year this initiative has been rolled out at the regional level, with several Science meets Regions meetings having taken place recently."
Speakers at the opening session included Paul Rübig, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and Chairman of STOA, Jerzy Buzek, MEP, Chairman of the EP Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions and Henrik Wegener, Chairman of Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) High Level Group. The discussion was moderated by Vladimir Šucha, Director-General of the JRC.
A high-level panel, moderated by Eva Kaili, MEP and STOA Vice-Chair then discussed the importance of the international, national and regional dimension of scientific support for better policy-making. Speakers represented a wide range of stakeholders, from academia, public authorities and politics (Pavol Šajgalík, President of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Francesco Russo, Member of the Italian Senate, Lidia Borrell-Damian, Director for Research and Innovation from the European Universities Association, Sabine Ehrhart, University of Luxembourg and participant of the MEP-scientist pairing scheme).
Kostadin Kostadinov, Coordinator of the Sofia Mayor's Expert Council on Science, Technology and Innovation presented the results of the Science meets Regions event which preceded this conference.
The event was coupled with the 5th round of STOA MEP-Scientist Pairing Scheme with 16 Members of the European Parliament bilaterally meeting 16 high-level scientists. This scheme helps MEPs understand the latest scientific developments and at the same time scientists can become aware of the complexities involved in decision making at the EU level.
Previous edition of "Science meets Parliaments"
In order to promote a culture of evidence-informed policy-making, the JRC, in cooperation with the European Parliament's Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel, launched in September 2015 the "Science meets Parliaments" initiative.
Image: Over 150 participants joined the second edition of Science meets Parliaments.