Quo vadis, EU evidence-based policy making? Addressing the “evidence – policy” gap

In theory, the EU policy decision-making process is based on the principal that excellence, independence, accountability and efficiency in science or evidence-based advice should inform political choices.

Independent scientific advice bodies, most notably the “Science Advice Mechanism” (SAM) established in 2015, inform the European Commission and offer independent scientific advice to the College of European Commissioners to support their decision-making. But can science give us all the answers when it comes to policy making? How often do science and data-based policy solutions take the citizen’s perspective into account? Is the changing dynamic of policy making resulting in politicians sometimes following populist voices rather than making objective decisions?

What is the right balance of evidence and interest, and how can policymakers square that circle?

EURACTIV organised this workshop to discuss the way forward in effective decision-making.

Questions included:

– ‘Policy-based evidence’ or ‘evidence-based policy’? What should the ideal balance of scientific data and policy be in the decision-making process?
– Trustworthy data sources: industry, NGOs, academia?
– Should all data be taken into consideration throughout the decision-making process? How can the decision-making process be even more inclusive?
– What decision-making tools, processes and structures must be in place to ensure successful evidence-based policy?
– What does success looks like? What are examples of good science-based policymaking?

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