Focus on international cooperation is a highlight in the Spanish presidency’s programme. Along the lines of this strategic direction, the informal meeting in Santander, chaired by Spanish Minister for Science and Innovation Diana Morant, focused on the means of achieving of collaborative science and the significance of joint effort in EU projects.
One of the key priorities of the presidency, the new Horizon Europe programme, starting in 2025, will focus on resilience, strategic autonomy and the reindustrialisation of the EU – in which, research plays a crucial role. The meeting established that the member states’ increasing need for research resources – required to prepare for future crises and to protect the integrity of science – can be achieved via EU-wide dialogue. A diplomatic, and collaborative approach to research is being outlined in the European agenda for science diplomacy, which will not only be relevant for Horizon, but also for adjacent science-policy projects, such as the digital and green twin transition and the larger frameworks of the Green Deal.
In addition, the science diplomacy agenda involves projects reaching beyond Europe. External actions, and bilateral scientific agreements, that could strengthen the EU’s global role – exemplified by the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA) – were amongst the topics of the meeting. The agenda discussed is set to involve a roadmap for training in the role of diplomacy in research and innovation contexts.
In addition to science-diplomacy related topics, attendees also discussed Spain’s frontier science project on fusion energy, IFMIF-DONES.