The European Science Diplomacy Alliance POLICY BRIEF “Strengthening Science Diplomacy In and For Europe Through Horizon Europe” was prepared by Luk Van Langenhove, Diana Shendrikova and Claire Mays with contributions from Javier Pardo-Diaz, Jean-Christophe Mauduit, Izaskun Lacunza, Charlotte Rungius, Mostafa Moonir Shawrav, Martin Reinhart, Emanuela Colombo, and Elke Dall.

It was published in February 2024.

Policy Brief_EU SD Alliance_Horizon Europe_Feb 2024_Final release


Executive Summary
The European Science Diplomacy Alliance ( presents this policy brief as a contribution to the ongoing discussion on future research requirements in the final work programme of Horizon Europe 2025-2027. When reflecting on research needs to support development of science diplomacy as a tool for Europe, it is important to acknowledge certain diverse challenges: the heterogeneity of functions attributed to science diplomacy; the normative or moral implications associated with the concept; the need to reconcile science diplomacy’s adherence to Open Science with growing calls for technological sovereignty; and, finally, the limited anchoring today of science diplomacy in universities, research centers and diplomatic bodies.
Given the current state of science diplomacy in the EU and the evolving geopolitical situation, three interrelated strategic goals could be selected to orient actions supported by Horizon Europe:

  • Safeguard and promote European principles and values of research – as open as possible, respecting research freedom, integrity, and gender equality; as closed as necessary.
  • Deploy scientific cooperation in ‘the European neighborhood’, with consideration to countries that neighbor the EU as well as the neighbors of the neighbors.
  • Mobilize science and diplomacy for the global commons and for tackling the challenges of climate change, pandemic, digital transition, and green transition.

To address these strategic goals and develop and sustain science diplomacy within the EU, we propose that Horizon Europe can support research under two priorities, broken down into the following actions.

Priority 1 – To strengthen science diplomacy in Europe:

  1. Launch a Coordination and Support Action for science diplomacy
  2. Create a European Science Diplomacy Platform
  3. Build capacity for science diplomacy studies in both European Higher Education Institutions and diplomatic bodies, and train the practitioners
  4. Create a Horizon Europe work programme on Science Diplomacy Studies and Practices

Priority 2 – To foster EU regional science diplomacy:

  1. Foster regional studies in science diplomacy
  2. Enhance EU neighborhood studies
  3. Establish linkages between science diplomacy and other forms of hybrid diplomacy

Regarding the third strategic goal, mobilizing science diplomacy for the global
commons, we have indicated broader domains likely to benefit in the short term
from the targeted actions that can be supported by Horizon Europe:

  1. Join forces in tackling the climate crisis and promoting a just energy transition and global action.
  2. Strengthen ties with like-minded countries all over the world to build up common front in addressing global challenges.
  3. Use science diplomacy as an instrument of continuous dialogue with relevant geopolitical actors.

Funded initiatives should enable transdisciplinary linkages between the academic
community interested in science diplomacy and the policy-makers, practitioners,
and diplomats who deploy and give space to science and scientific advice in and
through their professional activities.

Please download the full brief here: Policy Brief_EU SD Alliance_Horizon Europe_Feb 2024_Final release

European Science Diplomacy Alliance POLICY BRIEF: Strengthening Science Diplomacy In and For Europe Through Horizon Europe