chapter  A1
6 Pages

A new narrative for Europe

WithFranz Fischler

Europe constitutes 7% of the world's population, 27% of the world's gross domestic product and 50% of global social expenditure. At the European Union (EU) level the willingness to base decisions on scientific evidence is more pronounced than at the Member State level. This is the case why especially in the EU Commission political ideologies play a marginal role and policy-makers need to justify their policy decisions in negotiations with Member States, interest groups and NGOs. There are formidable cultural differences. Roughly speaking, policy-making in Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian countries is much more science-driven than in the rest of Europe. In the European institutions—the Council and the European Parliament—biased and one-sided positions would be questioned and scrutinized immediately. On the EU level the Centre for European Policy Studies and Friends of Europe are the most important at think-tanks as they have the widest networks of scientists.