Parliamentary Technology Assessment in Europe
A EPTA publicou recentemente um relatório sobre as instituições de Avaliação de Tecnologia parlamentar, intitulado: Parliamentary Technology Assessment in Europe: An overview of 17 institutions and how they work
Trata-se de um trabalho compilado e editado por Reinhard Grünwald (do TAB, Alemanha). No seu prefácio refere o seguinte:
Technology is at the heart of our societies. It shapes and defines the way we live. On the one hand, new and innovative technologies have a tremendous positive impact to improve our welfare, security and productivity. On the other hand, they create severe problems such as pollution and environmental degradation, health hazards or risks of catastrophic events.
It is therefore not surprising that science and technology play a crucial role in many political debates and decisions today. Which energy technologies need to be developed – and how can emerging technologies be supported to transform our energy systems in a sustainable way? Do we want to invest in geo-engineering technologies to stabilise the earth’s climate? Will technological advances in medicine be a driver for rising costs or an opportunity for personalised health care and cost savings for the welfare systems? How can we seize the societal and economic opportunities of innovative information and communication technologies and at the same time address the risks of critical infrastructure failure and keep privacy issues at bay? How do ethical considerations and international humanitarian law relate to the procurement of unmanned aircraft armed for combat?
Dating back to the 1970s, Parliamentarians in many countries started to feel the need for balanced, comprehensive and independent information on science and technology issues in order to be able to respond to questions like these in an appropriate way. This was the starting point for the establishment of a number of Parliamentary Technology Assessment (PTA) units throughout Europe, with the overarching idea to strengthen the role of parliaments in the political arena.
Parliamentary TA has been institutionalised in many different ways: ranging from permanent parliamentary committees for TA, separate TA units as part of the parliamentary administration to independent institutions with a mandate to serve as a permanent consulting institution for Parliament.
Until now, we have lacked a comprehensive overview of how exactly these different institutions are set up and how they work. This publication is intended to fill this gap. All chapters originate from the different institutions themselves, after an initiative and coordinated by the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag (TAB), which held the EPTA presidency in 2011.