Madrid Declaration on Science Diplomacy
As a result of the 1st Global Meeting on Science Diplomacy, where experts from around the world discussed the present and future of science diplomacy, its fundamental role in addressing global challenges and the requirements to harness its full potential in the EU and beyond, the “Madrid Declaration on Science Diplomacy” was signed. It proclaims a common vision of science diplomacy in the future, emphasises the benefits science diplomacy can bring to tackling the global challenges of our time and outlines the principles needed to foster science diplomacy worldwide.
The “Madrid Declaration on Science Diplomacy” aims to foster agreement and raise awareness about the need to strengthen science diplomacy strategies and practices world-wide for the support of universal scientific and democratic values. These strategies are required to suitably include science and technology as key dimensions of foreign policy and international relationships at different political levels. This confluence of interests must be in the benefit of both the scientific endeavor as well as legitimate broader political and societal objectives.
Science diplomacy, in the context of this Declaration, is understood as a series of practices at the intersection of science, technology and foreign policy. The renewed interest in science diplomacy comes in response to identified challenges at the interface of science and foreign policy, where a greater scientific voice could both add value to bi- and multilateral discussions and decisions about our shared global concerns. Joint science diplomacy objectives are possible where actors converge around such common challenges. Therefore, science diplomacy goes beyond international science collaboration, as it tackles interests that go beyond the scientific ones and may directly or indirectly serve to advance diplomatic goals. The Madrid conference highlighted the growing importance of science diplomacy on a global level. One important role for science diplomacy, in this regard, is to build bridges between science, technology and innovation practices, national and regional interests, as well as global challenges.
We firmly believe that:
Science diplomacy is often not fully exploited at all levels of governance, and especially at supranational levels;
More explicit science diplomacy strategies at national and supranational levels would allow for a more effective alignment of interests and a more efficient coordination of resources.