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Sep
03

NGOs call for debate on how to put science at the heart of EU politics

Scientific advice to the European Commission’s President should be transparent and objective

Malta Today

Scientific advice should be transparent, objective and independent, and there should be more science and more diverse expertise available to the European Commission’s President, a coalition of 25 international and national NGOs, including The Action for Breast Cancer Foundation Malta and Friends of the Earth Malta, wrote in a letter addressed to President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker today.

The new President will have to decide whether or not to retain the position of Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) that was established by his predecessor, President José Manuel Barroso.

In the majority of European countries, governments rely for scientific advice on expert committees who prepare transparent and public reports. Among EU countries, only the UK currently maintains the position of CSA as a full-time government office.
The NGOs argue that it is unreasonable to expect that one single person can guarantee objective and competent advice to the President. They are concerned that the model chosen by President Barroso lacks transparency and makes it easier for lobbyists to influence scientific policy advice.

The NGOs believe that scientific scrutiny in policy-making is essential. The question is how to ensure that the best representation of wide-ranging and transparent scientific advice is available to incoming President Juncker.

To read the complete article, please click here.

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