Science Diplomacy in CEI Member States

The aim of this research project is to explore the state and prospects of SD in this broad portion of Europe, focusing on the Member States of the Central European Initiative (CEI), a regional intergovernmental forum encompassing Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. The ultimate objective of the research is to provide a first overview able to map how SD is approached by these countries.

Results suggest that the notion of Science Diplomacy (SD) is diffused in most of the surveyed countries and, as a consequence, in the majority of CEI Member States (MS). However, such a distribution does not correspond to a balanced institutionalisation of SD in the structure of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (MFAs). Moreover, while inter-ministerial coordination does exist and is frequent, such coordination is primarily achieved on a case-by-case basis, rather than by creating ad hoc offices, bodies or structured coordination mechanisms.
The promotion of national science systems and their achievements appears paramount in terms of motivations for implementing SD-related activities, though aspects such as gaining access to technologies, knowledge and market opportunities, as well as influencing policymaking are almost equally highly rated.

Looking at the instruments of international scientific cooperation and the existing links those instruments helped establish within the CEI constituency, the authors have noticed that the collaboration between and among CEI countries is organised around two sub-regional clusters: countries from Central Eastern and Eastern Europe, on one side; countries from Southern and Southeastern Europe, on the other.

Despite this differentiation, thematic priorities are quite similar across CEI Members, and health, circular economy and climate change are ranked equally high on a scale measuring the importance of these various policy areas. In this regard, it is interesting to note the alignment of policy priorities stemming from the participation in a multilateral forum, such as the CEI and, on a different scale, the EU, which adopts the same priorities.

Through the elaboration of this report, several aspects related to the concept of SD have emerged as possible areas of further research. Finally,  respondents have clearly expressed an interest in building their institutional capacities in the SD field.

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The resaearch was funded by the Italian Region Friuli Venezia Giulia and was conducted by the University of Trieste in collaboration with the Central European Initiative.

Document type
  • Report


Publication Year


Geographical focus
  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Danube Macroregion
  • Europe
  • Montenegro
  • SEE
  • Serbia
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Admin on May 4, 2020
Modified on May 4, 2020