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Scientific advice for policy-makers in the European Union [Policy Podcast]

Written by Vincent Reillon

Scientific advice for policy-makers in the European Union

© apinan / Fotolia

Scientific knowledge has become a key element in the policy-making process, alongside societal values and political considerations. As a consequence, stronger science advice systems have been developed to provide timely and useful scientific advice to policy-makers in both legislative and executive bodies.

Such systems for the provision of advice integrate various institutions and structures in order to address adequately the specific needs of policy-makers: providing strong scientific expertise in an accessible format; informing the development of long-term policies as well as providing advice during emergencies and crises; and providing advice proactively through foresight activities and reactively at the request of policy-makers.

Global challenges put additional pressure on science advice systems, requiring them to address issues that are both multidisciplinary and multijurisdictional. The improvement of cooperation between science advisory bodies across geo-political borders has been recognised. Experts also call for the definition of common guidelines and principles for the production of science advice.


See also our briefing on ‘The Scientific Advice Mechanism


In the European Union, systems are evolving at national level as well as in the EU institutions. Following the abolition of the position of Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission in 2014, the Commission established the Science Advice Mechanism (SAM), consisting of a ‘High-level Group’ and a secretariat in DG Research, supported by a platform for European and national academies. The SAM aims to improve the coordination of the science advice system within the European Commission, as well as interaction with the science advice systems of Member States.

Listen to podcast: Scientific advice for policy-makers in the European Union

Read the complete briefing on ‘Scientific advice for policy-makers in the European Union‘.

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The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy. Copyright © European Union, 2014. All rights reserved

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