Written by Zsolt G. Pataki,
Expert information on scientific and technological developments is crucial to MEPs’ policy-making role. Ensuring MEPs have regular access to reliable information is an essential part of the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel’s mission. It is in this context that STOA is co-organising, with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), the 2016 ‘Science meets Parliaments’ event on 8 November 2016.
This event will also see the launch of the 5th round of STOA’s MEP-Scientist Pairing Scheme, which is being led by the First STOA Vice-Chair, Eva Kaili. A significant number of MEPs and scientists applied to take part in the scheme this year. Members have now completed their selection of scientists, resulting in a final list of 16 MEP-scientist pairs.
During the ‘Brussels week’, taking place from 8 to 10 November 2016, the paired scientists will learn about the work of the European Parliament’s committees and research services, and will shadow their MEP counterparts in their daily activities. This activity is vital for both sides to highlight the areas where the partners’ knowledge and experience can be combined to feed into better legislation. Follow-up visits for MEPs to see their paired scientists at work will hopefully be agreed bilaterally during the scientists’ visit to Brussels.
The draft programme includes a lunchtime welcome session upon the scientists’ arrival at the European Parliament, hosted by Eva Kaili, followed by this year’s ‘Science meets Parliaments’ event. The scientists will then have the opportunity to listen to presentations by the European Parliament’s services, and to present their research activities in plenary. The first day will close with a networking reception for all participants, before MEPs and scientists start the shadowing activities.
On the second day, the scientists will begin to shadow the MEPs in their activities, including attending committee meetings. A World Science Café, a dynamic participatory session organised by the JRC, will follow, with scientists continuing their shadowing activities into the third day. Finally, a meeting to reflect on their experience will take place, before the scientists’ departure.
To keep up to date on the activities linked to this round of the ‘Science meets Parliaments’ initiative and MEP-Scientist Pairing Scheme, see information on the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), or follow us on Twitter @EP_ThinkTank.
Follow the event and get interesting insights into the work of pairs via the hashtag: