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The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE)

Introduction to the EGE

The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) is an independent advisory body of the President of the European Commission. Since its inception in 1991, the EGE has provided the Commission with high quality and independent advice (opinions) on ethical aspects of science and new technologies in connection with EU legislation or policies.

The Group's legal mandate is enshrined in Commission Decision (2016/835). The President of the Commission and Commissioner Carlos Moedas, responsible for Research, Science and Innovation, have confirmed that ethical questions need a dedicated Group of experts at the highest level. The European Group on Ethics reports to the President, and to the College of Commissioners as a whole. President Juncker is placing the Group under the direct responsibility of Commissioner Moedas.

EGE members are appointed on the basis of their expertise and are drawn from fields of natural and social sciences, philosophy and ethics, and law, ensuring an independent, inter-disciplinary perspective on ethical questions posed by scientific and technological innovation.

The Commission provides the Secretariat of the EGE tasked with integrating ethics (1) at international level, (2) at inter-institutional level with the European Parliament and the Council and (3) within the Commission itself. These interrelated activities form a coherent framework. To that effect the Secretariat of the EGE supports the Group and within that role it:

  • provides the General Secretariat of the European Commission's International Dialogue on Bioethics, a platform bringing together the National Ethics Councils from 97 countries (EU-G20 forum and beyond)
  • is in charge of the representation and liaison with the international organizations tasked with examining the ethical implications of science and new technologies (UN and its agencies, OECD, Council of Europe)
  • chairs and convenes the Inter-service group on Ethics and EU Policies, coordinating Commission activities in the fields of bioethics and ethics of science and new technologies.

Every EU member state has a National Ethics Council or equivalent body, as do many third countries. The EGE acts as a key reference point for the 28 National Ethics Councils in the EU and further afield within the international ethics framework.

 

Latest Updates

30 May 2016

Call for Expression of Interest in membership of the EGE

The call will be open until 26 June 2016, midnight CET. Applications should be submitted through the online application form

Additional information on the renewed mandate of the EGE, on the call for expression of interest and on the Identification Committee for the selection of the EGE members.

 

11 January 2016

EGE issues statement on gene editing

Human germline modification technologies are rapidly developing and have elicited increasing concerns and international debate. Against this backdrop, the EGE unpacks the assumptions and scrutinises the tensions at the heart of these developments.

 

13 October 2015

EGE delivers Opinion on the Ethical implications of New Health Technologies and Citizen Participation

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The EGE delivers Opinion on the Ethical implications of New Health Technologies and Citizen Participation to Commissioners Moedas and Andriukaitis

On 13th October 2015, the EGE met with Commissioners Carlos Moedas, responsible for Research, Science and Innovation, and Vytenis Andriukaitis, responsible for Health and Food Safety, to discuss the group's latest Opinion, on the Ethical implications of New Health Technologies and Citizen Participation.

The Group debated its findings and recommendations with the Commissioners on the occasion of a working lunch which also saw the official handover of the Opinion to the two Commissioners.