As announced on 6 December 2023 by the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation about the recent Global Approach Implementation Report – the European Commission intends to set up informal working groups composed of individuals from both, the science and diplomacy communities, to develop potential elements of a future European framework for science diplomacy. The main aim of the working groups is to bring together the relevant stakeholders in an innovative format, to develop jointly recommendations in a co-creation process.
On 6 October 2023 the European Commission published a call for expressions of interest to participate in one of the following five Working Groups (WG):
- WG1: Using science diplomacy strategically to tackle geopolitical challenges in a fragmented, multipolar world
- WG2: Making European diplomacy more strategic, effective and resilient through scientific evidence and foresight
- WG3: Strengthening science diplomacy in Delegations and Embassies and fostering the EU’s global science diplomacy outreach
- WG4: Building capacity for European science diplomacy
- WG5: Cross-cutting group on definition, principles and EU added value of European science diplomacy
Each working group will be co-chaired by a scientist and a diplomat and will be composed of 25 members (WG1 will have 30 members).
Until the closing of the call on 31 October, a total of 575 applications have been received, demonstrating the great interest in the topic. 546 of these applications were considered eligible according to the criteria specified in the call. Of the 546 eligible applications, 244 were women (= 44.7%).
An evaluation of the expressions of interest has been carried out by a Steering Team as part of the ERA Subgroup on the Global Approach, assisting the European Commission in the process of developing a European framework for science diplomacy, consisting of representatives from the different stakeholder groups. The main criterion for selecting the members was the specific expertise they can bring to the table, while ensuring gender and nationality balance in the working groups. Based on this assessment, the European Commission has now published the list of selected experts and appointed the respective co-chairs of the working groups.
As a German citizen, Prof. Paul Arthur Berkman will serve on WG4: Building Capacity for European Science Diplomacy.