(3 November 2017) – ECOLISE has joined with 17 other civil society organisations in calling for citizens’ and civil society’s involvement in co-creating the structure and mission of the EU’s next Research Framework Programme (FP9).
In a briefing entitled ‘Engaging citizens & civil society in defining FP9’s missions and maximising societal impact’ the organisations argue that there needs to be citizen involvement now, ahead of the Commission’s proposal on the FP9 due in May 2018.
There is wide recognition that engagement of civil society organisations and citizens has been sub-optimal in defining research and innovation (R&I) priorities in Horizon 2020 and in previous EU Research Framework Programmes.
The briefing, that was written by Global Health Advocates and Science Citoyennes, proposes a two-pronged approach that recognises the increasing importance of communicating, connecting and engaging with European citizens and civil society on the definition of research priorities.
“Firstly, we propose a number of Citizens Conventions, an innovative process of decision making to co-create FP9’s missions with society. Within this process, citizens are trusted to apprehend complex topics and to propose missions corresponding to societal challenges that respond to the current and future needs of society.
“Secondly, we propose the creation of a Civil Society High Level Group on maximising the societal impact of R&I. By definition, the priorities of the societal challenges pillar of Horizon 2020 should be defined in large part by society, yet in practice there is very little involvement of civil society. Through more inclusive and participative governance structures, EU research programmes can address the multi-faceted aspects of major societal challenges and offer solutions that provide concrete societal benefits.
Both Citizens Conventions and the Civil Society High Level Group should be put in place before the European Commission releases its proposal in May 2018 in order to feed into the FP9 design process. Neither proposal is a one shot process: both should continuously inform and be engaged during the implementation of the next FP9.
See the full paper: Engaging citizens and civil society to maximise FP9 societal impact Oct17