Geology and geoscience are, in themselves, an international discipline – geological formations do not end at national frontiers. Consequently, international cooperation is essential, both in promoting exchanges of experience and knowledge, and in addressing issues and problems that do not respect national boundaries.
One of SGU’s overall objectives, therefore, is to keep abreast of international advances in knowledge and to take part in international collaboration on different aspects of geoscience and geology. This enables us to draw on knowledge and experience that can be applied in our own work, but also to share the knowledge we possess. We do this, for example, by participating in working groups, attending international congresses and symposia, and taking part in international projects.
SGU also has the role of an expert agency, providing support to the Swedish Government, nationally and in the European Union context, on a range of geology-related issues. A clear example of this is our involvement in the EU’s work on minerals, through its Raw Materials Supply Group.
Collaboration within the EU is a very important part of our wider international cooperation. For several years, SGU has been working with the geological surveys of other EU member states in a common organization – EuroGeoSurveys (EGS), which is an association of national geological surveys across Europe, now covering some 30 countries. EGS represents the surveys’ interests in relation to the European Commission, and also serves as a network for marketing geoscience within the EU. It is recognized by the Commission as an organization that is able to provide expert, neutral, balanced and practical information, help and advice on European issues on which, in one way or another, geology has a bearing.
Areas of current interest to EGS, which are also major concerns of SGU, include sustainable use of natural resources, groundwater, minerals, metals, soils and superficial deposits, energy, health and climate issues, natural hazards and geodata.