The main objective of the networking meetings organised by S4D4C is to bring together different stakeholders with a say in science diplomacy with the aim of raising awareness about its importance and to facilitate open discussions about what needs to be done to improve both the European science diplomacy and those of the EU Member States.
This discussion has been kicked off with the 1st S4D4C Global Meeting ‘EU Science Diplomacy Beyond 2020’, which took place in Madrid in December 2018. Given its purpose as a “Global Meeting” (European networking meeting combined with a global dialogue component on SD), the Madrid meeting attracted speakers and attendants from Europe, Canada, China, India, Korea, México, Panama and the U.S. Science Diplomacy scholars and practitioners convened at the headquarters of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) to explore the state-of-play in global science diplomacy in view of the potential for EU science diplomacy beyond 2020. The “Madrid Declaration on Science Diplomacy” is a direct outcome of this event and the first declaration of its kind to proclaim a common vision of science diplomacy in the future.
In a second, European networking meeting, which took place in Berlin on October 10, 2019, the discussions started in Madrid were continued, turning to focus on practices in the EU. S4D4C also presented key results stemming from its analytical work to relevant stakeholders during the Berlin meeting.
The 2nd networking meeting aimed at fostering a joint discussion about the visions, challenges and principles of European science diplomacy. The meeting addressed topics such as EU science diplomacy priorities, how to open up the ERA to even more international cooperation, the state of affairs of interaction among DGs, how to strengthen connections between EEAS and MS external services, etc. The goal of the event was to identify science diplomacy drivers and barriers, as well as recent advances and challenges ahead, putting together a set of recommendations for all relevant stakeholders (institutions, governments, civil society, academia and private sector).
A third networking meeting (to be organised in 2020) will again be combined with a global networking meeting.
All these networking meetings are designed in a way that makes a sustainable continuation of the network efforts beyond the S4D4C lifetime possible.