EASAC - the European Academies Science Advisory Council - is formed by the national science academies of the EU Member States to enable them to collaborate with each other in providing advice to European policy-makers. It thus provides a means for the collective voice of European science to be heard. Its mission reflects the view of academies that science is central to many aspects of modern life and that an appreciation of the scientific dimension is a pre-requisite to wise policy-making. This view already underpins the work of many academies at national level. With the growing importance of the European Union as an arena for policy, academies recognise that the scope of their advisory functions needs to extend beyond the national to cover also the European level. Here it is often the case that a trans-European grouping can be more effective than a body from a single country.
The academies of Europe have therefore formed EASAC so that they can speak with a common voice with the goal of building science into policy at EU level. Through EASAC, the academies work together to provide independent, expert, evidence-based advice about the scientific aspects of public policy to those who make or influence policy within the European institutions. Drawing on the memberships and networks of the academies, EASAC accesses the best of European science in carrying out its work. Its views are vigorously independent of commercial or political bias, and it is open and transparent in its processes. EASAC aims to deliver advice that is comprehensible, relevant and timely. EASAC covers all scientific and technical disciplines, and its experts are drawn from all the countries of the European Union. It is funded by the member academies and by contracts with interested bodies. The expert members of project groups give their time free of charge. EASAC has no commercial or business sponsors. EASAC's activities include substantive studies of the scientific aspects of policy issues, reviews and advice about policy documents, workshops aimed at identifying current scientific thinking about major policy issues or at briefing policymakers, and short, timely statements on topical subjects. The EASAC Council has 28 individual members - highly experienced scientists nominated one each by the national science academies of every EU Member State that has one, the Academia Europaea and ALLEA. It is supported by a professional secretariat based at the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. The Council agrees the initiation of projects, appoints members of project groups, reviews drafts and approves reports for publication.