Joint Research Centre
Digital Earth Lab

Together with DG Connect and DG Research and Innovation (RTD), the JRC is co-organising meetings for the European Commissions (EC) in order to identify and clarify diverse understandings and work on the topic, and to frame joint practical actions to promote citizen engagement in the work of the EC.

Within the EC Citizen Science is embedded into the wider context of Citizen Engagement in science and in policy. The diverse EC services address different elements of this spectrum. Policy initiatives address elements such as Open Science and the e-Government Action Plan. The research and innovation programs fund and manage activates, including form example Collaborative Awareness Platforms (CAPS), Citizens’ Observatories, and Science with and for Society. Guidance and training is provided on public engagement and stakeholder consultation. Citizen engagement is actually practiced in institutional projects. And, last but not least, governance methods for citizen engagement are investigated in dedicated research activities.   

DG Connect and DG RTD, the JRC co-organised two meetings in order to bring the involved and other interested colleague together and discuss relationships between ongoing works and possible future collaborations. While the first event (December 2014) provided a forum to inform each other about past and ongoing actions, the second event (January 2016) focused on intense discussions between the colleagues of the 12 different DG attending the workshop.

Although the attendees covered a wide spectrum of citizen engagement and many specific issues surfaced throughout the discussions, common issues – such as the need for capacity building to be able to react on citizens input – could be identified. We are covering parts of this need with our activities in the project for the Environmental Knowledge Community (EKC). More collaboration areas with DG Connect (beyond Digital4Science [1] and including the European Open Science Cloud [2]) and DG RTD (especially in the areas of Open Science [3] Science with and for Society [4] and Responsible Research and Innovation [5]) could be identified, and will be followed up in the context of the Citizen Science Platform.