During its first mandate (1998-2000) the EGE provided Opinions on subjects as diverse as human tissue banking, human embryo research, personal health data in the information society, doping in sport and human stem cell research. Besides their work on the Opinion. At a specific request of the President of the Commission, Romano Prodi, the Group also wrote the Report on the Charter on Fundamental Rights related to technological innovation.
The task of the Group shall be to advise the Commission on all ethical questions relating to science and new technologies, either at the request of the Commission or on its own initiative. The Commission shall, when seeking the opinion of the Group, set a time limit within which such opinion shall be given.
The Group shall have twelve members appointed for their competence and personal qualities. It shall be multidisciplinary.
The members of the Group shall be appointed by the Commission.
Each member of the Group shall be appointed for a term of three years. This term shall be renewable once. A member who resigns before completion of the term of office shall be replaced for the remainder of the term in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 4.
Travel and subsistence expenses for the Group’s meetings shall be covered by the Commission in accordance with the relevant administrative rules.
The Group shall elect a chairperson and a vice -chairperson from among its members for the duration of the term of office.
The Group’s deliberations shall be confidential. The Group may invite any person with specialist qualifications to take part in its proceedings as an expert on a given topic on the agenda. Experts shall take part only in discussions of those agenda items for which they were invited.
The Group may set up working groups to consider specific issues.
The Group shall be convened by the Commission. The Secretariat -General of the Commission, acting in close cooperation with the Group’s chairperson, shall be responsible for organising the work of the Group and its secretariat.
Where an opinion is not adopted unanimously, it shall include any competing or dissenting point of view. Every opinion shall be published immediately after its adoption.
The Group shall adopt its Rules of Procedure.
A report on the Group’s activities shall be produced under the responsibility of the chairperson before the end of its term of office. The report shall be published.