European societies face a number of increasingly urgent and complex challenges. These challenges are becoming more interdependent and global in nature. The EU plays a leading role in addressing these global challenges.
Global challenges require coordinated international efforts, which makes them central to foreign policy. In addition to diplomatic skills needed to balance interests and capacities of actors, there is also a need for greater expertise and, more concretely, scientific knowledge. Diplomats cannot be expected to have or to easily obtain this knowledge, even less so in today’s dynamic research and innovation systems. For the most part, they have to rely on scientific advice. However, communication between the scientific and diplomatic communities is not straightforward. The models, processes and resources for this sort of scientific advice are also not yet systematically available.
There is potential for better harnessing European science and science cooperation for European science diplomacy and foreign policy goals, both at EU and MS level. Not only can new approaches for scientific advice in EU foreign policy benefit from advances in research (e.g. new climate models), but novel ways of carrying out research can also offer opportunities for foreign policy impact. Science diplomacy can make use of these opportunities, including aspects of open science, internationalisation, and Responsible Research and Innovation. In the current political and societal landscape, the needs, interests and opportunities pertaining to science diplomacy have increased. The S4D4C project aims to ensure that the needs are understood and that the opportunities are effectively communicated into EU policies to address future challenges.
The overall aim of S4D4C (“Using Science for/in Diplomacy for addressing global Challenges”) is to support current and future European science diplomacy for the benefit of European capacities, EU foreign policy goals and especially the development of solutions for global challenges.
The overall objective translates into the following specific objectives:
Providing new insights and a better understanding of the contributions of science and science collaborations to foreign policy goals, especially in the context of European models and experiences
Facilitation of effective and efficient interfaces for European science diplomacy to take better advantage of European science and science cooperation
Provision of policy guidance on where and how EU and EU Member State (MS) science diplomacy can be active in the future
Better preparation, clearer mandate and stronger identity of European science diplomacy
Increased capacities and knowledge resources for EU and MS science diplomacy
Expanding global reach and visibility for EU science diplomacy