The academies of the EU member states joined forces to establish the European Academies‘ Science Advisory Council (EASAC) in 2001. EASAC prepares statements, detailed reports and scientific publications for a general audience about issues relevant to society relating to energy, environment and biosciences for the EU institutions.
Topics are suggested by the academies themselves or are assigned to EASAC by European institutions like the European Commission and European Parliament. Statements over the past three years have focused on a range of issues including Concentrating Solar Power, Genetic Testing, Biofuels, Carbon Capture and Storage, Crop Genetic Technologies and Extreme Weather Events in Europe. For more information about EASAC, visit www.easac.eu.
In August 2015, the EASAC Senior Advisory Group was established to discuss topics and the involvement of EASAC in science-based policy advice in the European Commission. The group consists of Professor Dame Anne Glover, former Chief Scientific Advisor to the President of the EU Commission, Professor Jules Hoffmann, Nobel Laureate, member of the Leopoldina and former member of EASAC Council, Professor Joaquin Almunia, Economist and former Vice-President of the EU Commission, and Dr. Wilhelm Krull, Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation.
EASAC Presidium (v.l.n.r.): Professor Loucas Christophorou (Vice-President), Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff (Vice-President), Professor Jos van der Meer (President), Professor József Pálinkás (Vice-President), Professor Thierry Courvoisier (Vice-President). Photo: © Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
In 2010 EASAC moved its head office from the British Royal Society to the Leopoldina. Since then, the Leopoldina has provided substantial support for many EASAC activities. Members of the Leopoldina are represented in its three steering panels (advisory committees for energy, environment and biosciences) as well as in all of EASAC’s working groups. Attended by members of the EU national academies EASAC events often take place at the Leopoldina. At EASAC’s tenth anniversary celebration on 7 November 2011, Federal Minister Annette Schavan gave an official speech in the Palace of the Academies in Brussels.
The EASAC office is responsible for organising and setting up the meeting agendas for all of EASAC’s committees, advisory and working groups. The office also works closely with IAP, the global network of science academies, whose European affiliation is performed by EASAC. The office also works with EU politicians and in this regard is supported by an EASAC office in Brussels, which is hosted by the Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium.