The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) is an independent, multi-disciplinary body appointed by the President of the European Commission which advises on all aspects of Commission policies where ethical, societal and fundamental rights issues intersect with the development of science and new technologies. Since its inception in 1991, the EGE has provided the Commission with high quality and independent advice on these questions.
EGE holds joint meeting with the Council of Europe’s Bioethics Committee
On 26 October 2017 the EGE met in Strasbourg to continue its reflections on the ethical implications of the future of work, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics.
The plenary session was also the occasion of a historic joint meeting of the EGE and the Council of Europe’s DH-BIO Group, jointly convened by the European Commission and the Council of Europe. The meeting followed the Council of Europe’s international conference on the 20th anniversary of the Oviedo Convention and provided an opportunity for joint reflection between the two groups on the evolution of ethics and the challenges posed by new scientific and technological developments such as gene editing.
EGE and Commissioner Moedas discuss artificial intelligence and the future of work
On 21 September the EGE met with Commissioner Moedas to discuss progress on the Group’s Opinion on the Future of Work as well as the wider ethical, societal and fundamental rights issues linked to the advances in artificial intelligence and robotics.
The exchange took place as part of the Group’s two-day plenary meeting on 20-21st September which also saw expert hearings conducted with Dr. Ruby Gropas (European Political Strategy Centre), Professor Phillippe van Parijs (Université catholique de Louvain) and Professor Judy Wajcman (London School of Economics).
EGE starts work on its first Opinion
On 28 June 2017, Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation issued a request for the EGE to begin work on its first Opinion. In liaison with President Juncker, the Commissioner has asked the EGE to examine issues surrounding the future of work, reflecting upon the societal, political and technological changes which are re-shaping the world of work, and society more broadly. The EGE will explore phenomena ranging from the rise of the gig economy and industry 4.0 to the ethics of artificial intelligence and robotics and man-machine interaction. They will consider fundamental questions of why we work and how work gives us meaning, as well as how core European values of European justice and solidarity are realised.
The work of the EGE began in earnest at its plenary meeting on 4-5 July 2017, where the Group held hearings with Commission representatives from DG Employment Social Affairs and Inclusion, DG Education and Culture and the Cabinet of Andrus Ansip, Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market.
First meeting of the newly formed EGE
Group photo of the EGE with Commissioner Moedas
The 15 leading experts newly appointed to the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies gathered for their first meeting on 24 – 25 April in Brussels. The members met with Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation and engaged in an exploratory discussion on potential topics for the first EGE Opinions.
The Group appointed Christiane Woopen, Professor for Ethics and Theory of Medicine at the University of Cologne, as EGE chair. As deputy-chairs, they appointed Herman Nys, Emeritus Professor in medical law at KU Leuven, and Siobhán O'Sullivan, Lecturer in Health Care Ethics and Law at Ireland's Royal College of Surgeons.