The High Level Group of the Commission's Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) aims is to support the Commission with high quality, timely and independent scientific advice for its policy-making activities. This will contribute to the quality of EU legislation, in line with the Better Regulation agenda.
Sir Paul Nurse, Director of the Francis Crick Institute and Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology and Medicine in 2001, will become a member of the Group with effect from 1 March. Carina H. Keskitalo, Professor of Political Science at the Department of Geography and Economic History at Umeå University also joined the Group in November 2016 when Dame Julia Slingo retired from the Group.
- From 31 January 2017, Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer, former Director General of CERN, becomes Chair, replacing Professor Henrik C. Wegener, who is leaving the Group at the end of February. Professor Pearl Dykstra becomes Deputy Chair, replacing Professor Elvira Fortunato, who remains a member.
- SAM has published an explanatory note on scientific advice for the regulatory assessment of Glyphosate in plant protection products (June 2016) and issued its first scientific opinion, on the measurement of CO2emissions from cars, in November 2016.
- Discussions in the sixth meeting of the High Level Group taking place on 31 January and 1 February 2017 will focus on the preparation of a scientific opinion on Cybersecurity in the European Digital Single Market and an explanatory note on New Techniques in Agricultural Biotechnology, which are supposed to be adopted in March 2017. The Group is also preparing a scientific opinion on Food from Oceans and will provide support to the forthcoming Evaluation of Pesticides Legislation to be published later this year.
- The purpose of this Group is to ensure that the Commission has access to the best possible scientific advice, independent of institutional or political interests. It brings together evidence and insight from different disciplines and approaches, taking into consideration the specificities of EU policy making, and ensures transparency. It complements the in-house scientific services of the Joint Research Centre, agencies and existing specialist committees.
- The two new members of the High Level Group (HLG) were selected by Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas from the short-list which was presented to him in October 2015 by the Independent Identification Committee, and from which the original seven members of the HLG were initially chosen.
- As outlined in Article 3 of the Commission Decision of 16 October 2015 establishing the HLG, the Group shall be composed of seven members with an outstanding level of expertise and collectively covering a wide range of scientific fields and expertise. Members are appointed in their personal capacity and shall act independently and in the public interest.
More information can be found here