On the other hand, in the targeting of research, current policy needs could be better answered. The scientific view is especially important in broadening the policy horizon in a situation where policies are bound by vested national interests, like in the case of the Common Agricultural Policy. This is the main message of an EU-funded project.
In the context of the CAP, there is a need for a long-term policy and research agenda. Agriculture and rural areas are facing drastic changes, linked for instance to changes in global markets, technology and in the use of labour as well as to the decline of the number of farms. Moreover, the EU enlargement, the world trade negotiations and the social demand concerning the functions of agricultural policy put pressure on the existing policies. The Commission is prepared to reform the CAP after 2013, which should be anticipated by research.
The SASSPO project was an example of a deliberative process, linked to new forms of governance which include not only the public sector but different actors representing the market and the civil society. Policy dialogue refers to a facilitated process in which stakeholders together with actors from science and policy jointly deliberate on a specific complex policy issue, explore potential solutions and formulate policy recommendations. In the context of the CAP, the creation of an arena independent of formal political institutions where various stakeholders, experts and decision-makers could exchange views and information was found very useful. Such an arena for closer policy/science dialogue should be established outside the ordinary structure, used in connection to formal discussion in the current political debate.
SASSPO raised policy issues where more research should be conducted to support policies. These included for instance the legitimisation of the policy, changes in agricultural employment and issues of implementation and monitoring. The list of the complete policy and research suggestions can be found at the SASSPO Internet site.
SASSPO (Agriculture for Sustainable Development: A dialogue on societal demand, pressures and options for policy) was a project which assessed the achievements and future needs of scientific support to agricultural policies in the European Union. The overall objective of the project was to move towards a more integrated and sustainable approach to agriculture and rural development in Europe by using existing research and stakeholder participation.
SASSPO organised two policy dialogues with participants from 18 EU member states as well as from the European Commission, OECD and environmental, farmers’ and landowners’ organisations. SASSPO was funded by the European Commission as part of the Sixth Research Framework Programme. The project was conducted by MTT Economic Research, Finland, and LEI Agricultural Economics Research Institute, the Netherlands.
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
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Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
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An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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