The precautionary principle and responsible risk management
Reply to Recommendation
| Doc. 11491
| 19 January 2008
- Committee of Ministers
- Adopted by the
Committee of Ministers on 16 January 2008, at the 1015th meeting
of the Ministers’ Deputies.
- Reply to Recommendation
- : Recommendation 1787
The Committee of Ministers welcomes the
attention given by the Parliamentary Assembly in its Recommendation 1787 (2007)
the precautionary principle and responsible risk management to a
principle that is of crucial importance for the modern world.
2 The Committee of Ministers recalls here the undertakings given
by the heads of state and government of member states in the Final
Declaration of the 3rd Summit of the Council of Europe “to ensure
security for our citizens in the full respect of human rights and
fundamental freedoms” and to meet, in this context, “the challenges
attendant on scientific and technical progress”.
3 The precautionary principle has multiple aspects: scientific,
economic, media-related and legal, to which balanced consideration
must be given if it is to be implemented in an appropriate manner.
In this regard, the Committee of Ministers has noted with interest
the measures proposed by the Assembly and has brought this recommendation
to the attention of member state governments. It has also sent it
to the Steering Committee for Education (CDED) and to the Steering
Committee for Higher Education and Research (CDESR).
4 The Committee of Ministers endorses the Parliamentary Assembly’s
approach as regards advocating a culture of precaution incorporating
the precautionary principle into scientific research processes,
with due regard for freedom of research and innovation. Promoting
scientific education at all educational levels within an interdisciplinary
and transdisciplinary framework is likely to further that objective.
The CDED has made a number of comments in this regard.
5 Referring to these comments, the Committee of Ministers encourages
in particular the measures to promote a more balanced representation
of girls and young women in science classes. Attention is drawn
here to the guidelines laid down and the measures advocated in its
Recommendation Rec(2007)13 on gender main-streaming in education.
With regard to the Assembly’s suggestion that a recommendation
be prepared along the lines recommended in paragraph 9, the Committee
of Ministers informs the Assembly that it acts on the basis of the programmes
already introduced within the CDED to promote an interdisciplinary
approach and encourage students to shoulder responsibility for social
issues, with an eye to breaking down interdisciplinary barriers
and opening up to others. It further draws the Assembly’s attention
to its Recommendation Rec(2007)6 on the public responsibility for
higher education and research, to which it has already referred
in its reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1762 (2006)
Committee of Ministers recalls that in this recommendation, it called
on member states to exercise their responsibility “with a view to
adapting it to the requirements of modern, complex societies through
a range of political, legislative and practical measures to be taken,
as appropriate, at national, regional or local level”.