The Conference took place at the eco-campus of the Euromed University of Fez and aimed to highlight the importance of dialogue in the process of regional cooperation and integration.
15-16 September 2022, Fez. What actors represent the key stakeholders in the Euro-Mediterranean science-policy interfaces? How to engage Universities in science-policy processes? How can Euro-Mediterranean institutions better share knowledge amongst themselves? These and many other issues were discussed during the Conference on Science-Policy interface in the Euro-Mediterranean Region, organised by the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI), the Euro-Mediterranean University of Fes (UEMF) and the UfM. The Conference explored the importance of science-policy platforms both at the national and regional levels.
Representatives of the three co-organising institutions inaugurated the Conference: Moustafa Bousmina, President of UEMF; Abdelhamid El-Zoheiry, President of EMUNI; Álvaro Albacete, UfM Deputy Secretary General on Higher Education and Research; and Michèle Gendreau-Massaloux, Chairperson of the EMUNI Management Board.
The Conference held three panel discussions on a roundtable format: a first panel on “National science-for-policy ecosystems and platforms: opportunities and challenges”; a second panel on “Regional science-for-policy structures: are they fit for purpose?”; and a third panel on “Internationalisation at Home – Science and Policy to Serve 21st Century Learning Innovation”. The panellists coming from a wide array of scientific and political institutions highlighted that the interaction between scientists and policymakers is crucial to face the many global challenges of our time. The scope and complexity of these need to be addressed through comprehensive and multidimensional approaches mixing both disciplines. Furthermore, they acknowledged the importance of structured science-policy interfaces and their potential for enhancing regional integration.
UfM Deputy Secretary General Álvaro Albacete stressed that “the value of supporting science-policy interface has been clear to the UfM since its creation, as it has explored areas of sustainable development where research and innovation have a significant role, such as climate action, sustainable agriculture, water, or blue economy”. He added that “no one alone in our region is strong enough to respond to the challenges we face; therefore, cooperation between scientists and policymakers, and between countries, is not luxury but a necessity”.
The Conference kicked off on Thursday 15 September with EMUNI hosting sessions for its Management Board, and the General Assembly, was attended by 110 members of EMUNI’s network and UEMF staff, spanning 19 countries.