What is the EGE?
The EGE provides the Commission with high quality, independent advice on ethical aspects of science and new technologies in relation to EU legislation or policies.
The EGE is an independent advisory body of the President of the European Commission. It was founded in 1991.
The group's legal mandate is enshrined in Commission Decision (2016/835).
The EGE reports to the president, and to the College of Commissioners as a whole. The group is under the direct responsibility of Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Carlos Moedas.
The work of the EGE
The EGE is tasked with integrating ethics at
- international level
- at inter-institutional level with the European Parliament and the Council
- within the Commission itself
EGE members are appointed for their expertise in the fields of law, natural and social sciences, philosophy and ethics.
This ensures an independent, inter-disciplinary perspective on the ethical questions posed by scientific and technological innovation.
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.
Opinion on gene editing
A current focus for the work EGE is preparing an opinion on gene editing which will be completed by summer 2019.
The request for this opinion was made in a letter from Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Carlos Moedas in July 2018.
Role of the secretariat
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 organisations 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
EGE opinions and statements
Opinions examine the intersections between science and technological advances and broad societal, ethical and fundamental rights issues.
They identify emerging and future developments, examine their implications across a wide spectrum of policy areas and issue recommendations.
Statements allow the EGE to deliver advice quickly and concisely on a given topic, including in response to an immediate policy need identified by the Group or by the Commission.