Science and Technology Options Assessment

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The Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) panel is a committee of members of the European Parliament devoted to all issues related to science and technology assessment.

Role[edit]

STOA is an official organ of the European Parliament, responsible for technology assessment and is active since 1987. Its task is to carry out expert, independent assessments of the impact of new technologies and identify long-term, strategic policy options useful to the Parliament's committees in their policy-making role. STOA's work is carried out in partnership with external experts. These can be research institutes, universities, laboratories, consultancies or individual researchers contracted to help prepare specific projects. STOA increasingly focuses upon round-table expert discussions, conferences and workshops with associated or consequent studies. Members of Parliament (MEPs) and invited experts from EU institutions, international institutions, universities, specialist institutes, academies and other sources of expertise worldwide can jointly participate in the analysis of current issues at these events.

The European Parliament defines its position on these issues through reports prepared by its Committees. If Committees decide that it would be helpful to their policy making role to seek out expert, independent assessments of the various scientific or technological options in the policy sectors concerned, they have STOA at their disposal: the Parliament's own Scientific and Technological Options Assessment unit.

Organisation[edit]

The STOA Panel[1] is politically responsible for STOA's work. The STOA Panel consists of 15 Members of the European Parliament, namely the Vice-President of the Parliament responsible for STOA, four members of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and two members from each of the Committees on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety; Internal Market and Consumer Protection, Employment and Social Affairs; Transport and Tourism; and Agriculture and Rural Development. The STOA Bureau runs the activities of STOA and prepares the Panel meetings. The STOA Bureau is elected by the STOA Panel. Currently, the chairman is António Correia de Campos[2] of Portugal. The two Vice-Chairmen are Paul Rübig[3] of Austria and Malcolm Harbour[4] of the United Kingdom. The fourth member of the STOA Bureau is the Vice-President of the European Parliament responsible for STOA, Oldřich Vlasák.[5] Former STOA Chairmen were Paul Rübig,[6] Philippe Busquin, Rolf Linkohr,[7] Alain Pompidou and Antonios Trakatellis.

Based upon the needs expressed by the different parliamentary committees, STOA provides the parliamentary bodies with independent, high-quality and impartial scientific information and studies. This helps them to assess the impact of the introduction or promotion of new technologies, and identify from a technological point of view, the best possible options for action. Plenty of studies are available so far.[8]

STOA is member of the European Parliamentary Technology Assessment (EPTA) network.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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