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Trans-European seminar on science-based policy advice

European governments are facing critical decisions on agriculture, food, climate and environment. Science based policy advice is in high demand, but varies across Europe. The aim of the first trans-European seminar in this area is to facilitate exchange of experiences, challenges and best practices in how to provide science based policy advice

[Translate to English:] Foto: Lars Kruse, AU Foto.

Governments in Europe has adopted ambitious goals on reducing greenhouse gasses and environmental pressure from agriculture and food production and on improving healthy diets. At the same time, an efficient and competitive agricultural sector is essential for rural economy and future food supply. 

Decisions are complicated and sometimes conflicting. Agriculture, food, climate and environment are heated issues on both political and public agendas in Europe. In this situation, science based policy advice is in high demand, but often also subject of heated debates. 

Diversity in organisation of Science based policy advice 

The term “Science based policy advice” covers a variety of arrangements with the objective of providing political decision makers and their public servants with updated, verifiable and evidence based information and advice on issues relevant for regulation and policy making. 

The organization, funding and responsibility for providing science based policy advice differs between countries and across subject areas/sectors. In some countries, the organization and long term funding of institutions responsible for providing scientific evidence in specific policy relevant areas is under pressure. 

Regardless of the type of organisation, science policy advice should be based on a number of principles to ensure quality and trustworthiness. Thus, the principles of Independence of science from the actual decision makers and transparency as regards the advice given and its scientific basis are key to the credibility. Other principles regards the scientific rigour and clear distinction between evidence and normative claims as well as consistency and timing of the advice given. While the weight given to different principles may vary with different settings, they are necessary preconditions for discussing the operational aspects of science police advice and when exchanging experiences and developing best practices. 

Forum for exchange of experiences, challenges and best practices 

There is a need for a forum for the providers of science based policy advice in the area of agriculture, food, climate and environment. The forum should facilitate exchange of information, experiences and challenges and provide inspiration for the future development of best practices with the aim of strengthening evidence based policy formulation across Europe.  

On this background, Aarhus University and the European Science Advisors Forum (ESAF) invites to the first trans-European seminar in this field as a webinar on 16 – 17 March 2021. 

The expected outcomes of the workshop will be: 

  • Exchange of information of national practices: good experiences, mutual learning in areas of organization, good processes vis-à-vis basic principles including practices for quality assurance, consistency of advice over time, recruitment and training 

  • Building stronger networks among peers and organizations across Europe 

  • Ideas for continued collaboration between interested institutions 

Programme and registration 

Further information 

For information on the scientific program, please contact director of DCA - Danish Centre For Food And Agriculture, Niels Halberg. E-mail: niels.halberg@dca.au.dk. Mobile: +45 2963 0093 

For other information, please contact Centre Secretary Birthe Ømark Jensen. E-mail: birthe.oemark@dca.au.dk. Mobile: +45 2328 2088