Shaping science diplomacy for Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the ninth European Research and Innovation Framework Programme (2021-2027) and successor programme of Horizon 2020 which is co-funding also the S4D4C project activities. The strategic plan, rules of participation and guidelines for implementation as well as specific work programmes are shaping over several months and actually years (n.b. the European Commission published its initial proposal on 7 June 2018). Several consultations have been implemented and the “R&I Days” (22-24 Sept 2020) offer a window into this process (more information in our article on the event and of course by participating, selected sessions are available on the youtube channel of the European Commission DG Research and Innovation). A lot of stakeholders are involved in the strategic planning process, including the European Parliament, EU Member States, but also interested institutions, associations and citizens.

S4D4C has provided some thoughts in March 2020 (see below) which have been explicitly acknowledged by the Strategic Forum on International Cooperation (SFIC), a forum that brings together representatives of the EU Member States (see a short description here).

S4D4C’s Considerations on ‘How to Include Science Diplomacy Aspects in Horizon Europe?’

The SFIC Task Force on Science Diplomacy has published another Working Paper on September 21, kindly acknowledging also the input of external experts including S4D4C:

“Anchoring science diplomacy in Horizon Europe developing specific subjects and activities”

The Working Paper outlines current topics on Science Diplomacy that could also be relevant for integration in the future Work Programmes of Horizon Europe. The aim is to support the brainstorming for developing the science diplomacy aspects of the programme.

…, acknowledging that Horizon Europe itself is a Science Diplomacy tool through offering an open, transparent and globally relevant programme, which benefits go beyond the EU.

The ideas are not to be seen as descriptions of call topics but illustrations and sources of inspiration how science diplomacy can be connected with priorities such as the Green Deal, climate change, digitalisation, health or security. Set in the tension between protecting Europe’s sovereignty and interests one the one hand and strengthening responsible global leadership, multilateralism and strategic cooperation on the other hand, and in the times of dealing with a health and socio-economic crisis, a need for improved communication between stakeholders based on science and diplomacy is highlighted.

Following the structure proposed for Horizon Europe, activities for different pillars and clusters are outlined as well as key objectives such as supporting dialogue between scientists, diplomats and policy-makers, engagement of civil society in science advice.

We recommend reading the paper, which is available at https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-1357-2020-INIT/en/pdf, but please find in the following a short overview of the topics addressed:

Overarching tools

  • “Science Diplomacy Booster”
  • Capacity Building in Science Diplomacy

PILLAR 1 / Excellent Science

  • EUROPEAN RESEARCH COUNCIL for Science Diplomacy Initiatives
  • MSCA Fellowships for science-policy and science-diplomacy links
  • Supporting the Interface of RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURES to Policy and Diplomacy

PILLAR 2: Global challenges and European Industrial competitiveness

  • CLUSTER 1: HEALTH
    International cooperation for infectious diseases
  • CLUSTER 2: CULTURE, CREATIVITY AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETY
    Grounding science diplomacy practices in Europe and beyond
    EU Research and Innovation and global governance
    Understanding the Belt and Road initiative / a comprehensive topic on the power of science research and innovation in global competition covering a broader range of countries
  • CLUSTER 3: CIVIL SECURITY FOR SOCIETY
    The security aspect of science diplomacy
    Disaster resilience in the European Neighbourhood
  • CLUSTER 4: DIGITAL, INDUSTRY AND SPACE
    Space diplomacy
  • CLUSTER 5: CLIMATE, ENERGY AND MOBILITY
    Climate (and energy) diplomacy for the European Green Deal
    Science and diplomacy in the polar regions: a historic opportunity for the EU to act for the planet
  • CLUSTER 6: FOOD, BIOECONOMY, NATURAL RESOURCES, AGRICULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT
    Science in Water Diplomacy in Central Asia
    Addressing global biodiversity loss

Missions and Partnerships

PILLAR 3 – European Innovation: Science Diplomacy potential of Innovation networks

WIDENING PARTICIPATION AND SPREADING EXCELLENCE

  • Capacity building in science diplomacy

REFORMING AND ENHANCING THE EUROPEAN R&I SYSTEM

  • Diplomacy to promote Open Science, academic freedom and scientific values

We hope that further stakeholders can come together supporting ideas relevant to them and that science diplomacy potentials of Horizon Europe can be adequately used.

Elke Dall

Posted by Elke Dall