The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) was created by Commission Decision dated 16 December 1997. The EGE mandate was amended on 26 March 2001 and the subsequent four-year mandate came to an end on 25 March 2005. A new four-year mandate was adopted by Commission Decision (2005/383/EC) dated 11 May 2005 and extended by Commission Decision 2009/757/EC. During the third mandate period (2005-2010), the EGE widened the scope of its ethical analyses producing Opinions on: the ethics review of human embryonic stem cells research under the EU Research programme, nanomedicine, agriculture technologies and animal cloning for food supply.
Abstracts from the Commission Decision of 11 May 2005 on the renewal of the mandate of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (2005/383/EC).
The Commission hereby decides to renew the mandate of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) for a four-year period.
The task of the EGE shall be to advise the Commission on ethical questions relating to sciences and new technologies, either at the request of the Commission or on its own initiative. The Parliament and the Council may draw the Commission's attention to questions which they consider to be of major ethical importance. The Commission shall, when seeking the opinion of the EGE, set a time limit within which an opinion shall be given.
1. The EGE members are appointed by the President of the Commission.
2. The following rules will apply:
1. The EGE members shall elect a chairperson and a vice-chairperson from among their members for the duration of the term of office.
2. The EGE work programme shall be agreed by the President of the Commission (including ethical reviews suggested by the EGE under their right of self initiative - see Article 2). The Bureau of European Policy Advisers (BEPA) of the Commission, acting in close cooperation with the EGE’s chairperson, shall be responsible for organising the work of the EGE and its Secretariat.
3. The EGE's working sessions shall be private. Outside these working sessions the EGE may discuss its work with concerned Commission departments and may invite representatives of NGOs or representative organisations when appropriate for an exchange of views. The agenda for the EGE meetings will be distributed to relevant Commission services.
4. The EGE will normally meet at the Commission's seat according to the modalities and the calendar fixed by the Commission. The EGE should meet at least six times during a 12-month period involving around 12 working days a year. Members are expected to attend a minimum of four meetings a year.
5. For the purposes of preparing its opinions and within the limits of the available resources for this action, the EGE:
6. Every opinion shall be published immediately after its adoption. Where an opinion is not adopted unanimously, it shall include any dissenting point of view. Where there is an operational requirement for advice to be given more quickly on a particular subject, short statements will be produced, to be followed if necessary by a fuller analysis, while ensuring that transparency is respected as for any other opinion.
EGE opinions always refer to the state of the art of the technology at the time the opinion is issued.
The EGE may decide to update opinions if it deems it necessary.
7. The EGE shall adopt its own Rules of Procedure.
8. A report on the EGE's activities shall be produced under the responsibility of the chairperson before the end of its term of office. The report shall be published.
Travel and subsistence expenses for the meetings of the EGE shall be covered by the Commission according to Commission rules.
The present decision will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and shall enter into force on the day of the nomination of the new EGE members.