How to govern an effective science-policy interface? Lessons from the existing initiatives in addressing the Euro-Mediterranean challenges

September 5, 2020 2:30 - 4:00

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An effective science-policy exchange is an aspiration of both policy-makers and scientists. Policy-makers want to devise scientifically-sound policy responses to critical societal challenges. Scientists wish to remain relevant and have their findings and research results influence policy making.

Yet, beyond that broad objective, a number of challenges to developing an effective science policy interface exist. Of them, two key issues are the indicators of success (when is a science-policy dialogue successful?) and the appropriate architecture for bringing that success about (how to structure an effective science-policy dialogue?).

The roundtable will discuss these two aspects by focusing on the practices and lessons learned from established initiatives of science-policy interface that have an impact on the Euro-Mediterranean region (e.g. PRIMA initiative, Bluemed and ESCWA). They will be related to the policy work in the regional organisations (e.g. UfM, EP, EC and EMUNI). The conversation will take place both at the concrete level, and the recurring questions of science-policy dialogue, namely:

How to ensure the involvement of policy makers from participating states in steering and governing of initiatives?
What exactly constitutes the ‘information gap’ in the process and what can be done about it? Are efforts towards open science and more dissemination of research results the right measures?
How real is the tension between the political push for ‘quick fixes’ rather than more longer-term, structural solutions?
How far have we come in benefitting from interdisciplinary framing of policy questions and providing lasting answers?

How far should officials dealing with external policies be involved in the process, apart from their research and innovation colleagues?

The roundtable will conclude with providing a clear statement on the success of the highlighted examples of SPI and will also provide a set of recommendations on nurturing SPI in other instances.

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