SAM: A New Mechanism for Independent Science Advice in the European Commission

Saturday, February 18, 2017: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Room 310 (Hynes Convention Center)
Henrik C. Wegener, Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark

SAM: A New Mechanism for Independent Science Advice in the European Commission

As announced by President Juncker on 13 May 2015, the European Commission has set up the EC Scientific Advice Mechanism ("SAM"). Its aim is to support the Commission with high quality, timely and independent scientific advice for its policy-making activities. This will contribute to the quality of EU legislation, in line with the Better Regulation agenda.

The Scientific Advice Mechanism will draw on the wide range of scientific expertise in Europe through a close relationship with national academies and other bodies, as well as the expertise of a High-Level Group of independent scientific advisors.

The core of SAM is the High Level Group of Scientific Advisors, set up by the Commission Decision of 16 October 2015. The group is composed of seven highly qualified, specialised, independent experts, appointed in their personal capacity and who act independently and in the public interest.

The overall objective of the Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) is to provide scientific advice to the Commission that:

  • is independent of institutional or political interests
  • brings together evidence and insights from different disciplines and approaches
  • takes into consideration the specificities of EU policy making (e.g. different national perspectives and principles of subsidiarity)
  • is transparent

The SAM secretariat is hosted in the European Commission's Directorate General for Research and Innovation. Its mission is to support the overall work of the SAM High Level Group and to facilitate their interaction with the EU policy making process.

The presentation will introduce the new Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM), which was designed to provide advice to the College of European Commissioners across all policy areas. Drawing on the experiences with the previous Chief Scientific Advisor model, SAM is composed of a High-Level Group of 7 eminent scientists, which is supported by a strategic partnership with science academies. The presentation will showcase the advantages of this model to deal with the diversity of science in Europe.