Evidence Matters EU

Credit: Frank Pittoors

On 21st June 2017 over a hundred citizens from across Europe went to the European parliament. 16 of them spoke on why evidence matters to them, and MEPs responded. 

Our message is simple:

We expect the commission to use evidence when making policy. We expect the commissioners to explain their reasoning. We expect parliament to seek and to scrutinise reasoning behind policies.

Carlos Moedas, European commissioner for research, science and innovation responded to the citizens on behalf of the commission along with six MEPs including Eva Kaili, MEP and Mairead McGuinness, MEP.

Sofie Vanthournout, Carlos Moedas, European commissioner for research, science and innovation • Marco Affronte, MEP, Greens/EFA • Julie Girling, MEP, ECR • Jan Huitema, MEP, ALDE • Ricardo Serrao Santos, MEP, S&D • Eva Kaili, MEP, S&D, chair of Science and Technology Options Assessment • Mairead McGuinness, MEP, EPP, vice-president of the European parliament
Jan Huitema, MEP and Julie Girling MEP

Eva MEP speaking

Carlos Moedas

The citizens who came to parliament on 21st want to make sure that all parliamentarians know how much evidence matters – to the citizens they represent, and to their colleagues. We’ve asked the MEPs and parliamentarians who were at the event how they will help us get their colleagues on board.  We’ve also announced a citizen-led review to monitor the ‘best and worst’ of MEPs responses over the next 12 months.

16 citizen speakers in the EU parliament at Evidence Matters

If you already spoke to your MEP, please let us know and – importantly – thank them for getting involved. Send them the stories from the day. And if they agree that evidence in policy matters, ask: will they talk to their colleagues about it?

If you haven’t written to your MEP, you can find their contact details here: www.europarl.europa.eu/meps. Tell them: “On 21st June 2017 one hundred citizens from across Europe went to the EU parliament to tell MEPs and officials that evidence matters to them, and they expect it to matter to the parliamentarians too. The stories told at the event can be found here. This matters to me, and I hope it matters to you. I’d like to know where you stand on this issue and, if you agree with me that MEPs should seek and scrutinise the reasoning behind policies, I’d like to ask what you will do and how you can help communicate the support for this idea to your colleagues”. Let us know how you get on.

Jan Huitema, MEP talking to citizens

“While we aspire to make more and better use of science internally, I am glad that there are initiatives like ‘Sense about Science’ which are fighting for evidence-based policy making from the outside and doing so by facilitating the direct involvement of citizens.”Frans Timmermans, European commission first vice president

“I’m very happy that you’ve come because you are telling me exactly what I’m fighting everyday, telling my colleagues that they cannot take any decision without that evidence.”Carlos Moedas, European commissioner for research, science and innovation

This event was hosted by a cross-party group of MEPs: Marco Affronte MEP, Julie Girling MEP, Ricardo Serrão Santos MEP and Jan Huitema MEP.

Thank you to the following organisations for their support of this event:

Robert Bosch Stiftung, alde, ECR, Greens | EFA, Socialists & Democrats

See the agenda for the event.

Photo credit: Frank Pittoors

Published: 4 May 2017, updated 22 June 2017