“An important step has been made today,” LERU Secretary-General Kurt Deketelaere stated in reaction to the plans laid out bij Commissioner Moedas. “It will hopefully be followed by many others, so that society at large can fully benefit from the research it is, wisely and correctly, funding.”
Proven track record
Deketelaere stressed the importance of an “open and continuous dialogue between the scientific community and the EU policy makers.” The League of European Research Universities (LERU) over the last year extensively expressed its concerns over the European Commission’s plan for a European Fund for Strategic Investments that might ‘squeeze’ Horizon2020.
According to the LERU the plans presented by President Juncker today show that EFSI’s impact on the European research and investment budget can be minimised. Moreover Commissioner Moedas’ plan for the development of a new “Scientific Advice Mechanism” (SAM) is supported by the universities. “LERU welcomes the fact that the Commission plans to appoint a high-level group of scientists that will forge links with organisations with a proven track record of scientific expertise.
Details to be worked out
SAM will draw upon existing structures like national academies of scientists and academic advisory bodies to help the European Commission with independent advice in all fields of policy making. In the coming months, Carlos Moedas will further work out how the new advisory panel will be formed. Its presentation is said to be this fall.
The announcement of a new scientific advisory body for the European Commission marks a new start for the dialogue between science and European policy making. In November 2015 Anne Glover took off as Chief Scientific Adviser for the European Commission. Glover wasn’t replaced by anyone at that time.