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SEPI - Science for EU Environment Policy Interface

October 2013

Read the final brief: Towards strengthening environment science-policy interfaces: the SEPI exploration

June 2012

SEPI (Science for EU Environment Policy Interface) is a process to strengthen the science-policy interfaces of DG Environment of the European Commission, launched in 2010 under the impetus of the Environment Commissioner J. Potočnik.
Currently, the DG uses a range of ad hoc approaches to acquire scientific evidence to support the different policy topics it addresses. Moreover, a systematic approach for cross-cutting and emerging issues is not in place. Under the SEPI process DG Environment is exploring options for a stronger framework for the interface between science and EU environmental policy.

Until now, the SEPI process has included:

  • A workshop on "Strengthening the knowledge base for environmental policy making and implementation" (Brussels, 9-10 December 2010). The objective was to gather the views of experts about good practices and practical innovations, to strengthen the interface between science and environment policy. The SPIRAL team informally contributed to the preparation and follow-up of the workshop. Sybille van den Hove, on behalf of SPIRAL, gave the introductory plenary presentation on "Science-Policy Interfaces: a tool for transformation?".
  • A support contract with Milieu Ltd. and Collingwood Environmental Planning to review existing practices within and outside DG Environment. The report from this contract is available here.
  • A second workshop on "Assessing and Strengthening the Interface between Science and EU Environment Policy" (Brussels, 15-16 September 2011) which brought together practitioners from both the science and policy sides to discuss how to strengthen existing practices and identify practical and innovative additional approaches. Allan Watt, Rob Tinch and Sybille van den Hove from the SPIRAL team participated to the workshop. The workshop report is available from the organisers.

DG Environment, is currently defining next steps.

On May 24, 2012 during Green Week, two sessions were organised jointly by DG ENV and DG R&I on "Science in support of evidence-based environmental policy making", focusing on inland, marine and coastal water issues, the theme of this year's edition of Green Week. More information

Contact: Sybille van den Hove