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Parliamentary questions
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6 June 2017
Question for written answer E-003747-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
Mady Delvaux (S&D)

 Subject:  European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE)
 Answer in writing 

The Commission recently re-launched the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) by appointing 15 members. The EGE will advise the Commission on all areas of policy where ethical, societal and fundamental rights issues intersect with the development of science and new technologies.

It is, however, surprising that the academic experts within the EGE mostly have a biomedical focus. Among the current membership there is a noticeable lack of technological expertise in the field of new and emerging technologies (artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, etc.) in which the most contentious ethical issues and questions arise. There is also no evidence of involvement of public-interest groups and of representatives from other domains of (public) life among the current members.

Does the Commission believe it likely that the current membership will manage to provide authoritative opinions on controversial issues in light of the above limitations?

What safeguards does the Commission offer that EGE opinions do not overlap or clash with the views of local and national ethics committees across Europe?

In the case of a conflict of views between the EGE and local/national ethics committees, which opinions should prevail in providing responsible guidance to researchers and practitioners?

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