AND RATIONALE FOR PROPOSING THE RESEARCH ACTION
Over the past decade, there has been a better understanding
of the appropriate level – local, national or global
– at which collective action is desirable. There are
arenas where impacts are local, others where impacts are national,
others where they are definitely global. In global arenas,
global collective action is required and systems of global
governance are essential. A series of events – from
the emergence of AIDS as a wold-wide problem, till the crisis
over BSE; from the debate on GMOS, till the threaten of bioterrorism
– have demonstrated that biomedicine and biotechnology
are increasingly global. Globalisation presents formidable
challenges with respects to the promotion of health, and future
health prospects increasingly depend upon it. Globalisation,
however, presents also a dark side: new poverty, new instabilities,
new uncertainties, and new risks. Governments are having less
amd less control aver flows of information, tecnology, diseases,
mobility of people arms and financial transactions, whether
licit or illicit, across their borders. Nonstate actors ranging
from business firms to non-profit organisations, to mafia
cartels, are playing increasingly larger roles in both national
and international affairs. Rapid advances and diffusion of
biotechnology, nanotechnology, and the materials sciences
will add to the capabilities of nationalist and fundamentalist
networks, or transnational crime, to engage in biological
warfare or bioterrorism. A terrorist who is willing to drive
a plane into the World Trade Center would be just as willing
to inoculate himself with smallpox and show up in any EU or
US big city.
OF THE PROJECT
the scope of the 5th Framework Program, the European Commission
has funded a 42 months reseach project on the BIOETHICAL IMPLICATIONS
of GLOBALISATION PROCESSES (BIG). The BIG project will be
carried out by an international consortium and the EC scientific
officer in charge of the project is Dr Line-Gertrud Matthiessen
(DG Research – Directorate E – Bioethics).
BIOETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF GLOBALISATION PROCESSES –
BIG is a 42 months previsional project that aims to anticipate
the major reasons for bioethical concern surrounding globalisation,
to forecast future scenarios and to formulate new policy options
in this field. The project’s purpose is both to raise
short-term, tactical considerations and to provide a longer-term,
strategic perspective. Its major contribution will be to identify
drivers, to determine whish ones matter most, to highlight
key uncertainties, to integrate analysis of these trends into
a general context and to propose future policy options. The
results of the project will help EU governments, institutions,
SMEs, NGOs and other non-state organisations with rigorous,impartial
analyses on future global bioethical issues.
The project will achieve its aim by convening some expert
meetings amd developing some rounds of Delphy questionnaires.
A high-level seminar involving a selected audience of EU policy-makers
will conclude the study.
BIG project will question the bioethical implications of globalisation,
will look at how they are best met and will serve ad a forum
to formulate new policy options inthe field. The study will
have two major objectives:
Objective A is to identify major bioethical issues raised
by globalisation processes.
Objective B is to forecast future scenarios and formulate
A will be accomplished by fulfilling the following tasks:
Task 1- Description of the actual and potential impact on
international health of:
1. Liberalisation of trade
2. Mobility of people
3. Tecnological globalisation
4. New global conflicts including bioterrorism.
Task 2 – Ethical, legal and social analysis of data
coming from Task 1
Task 1 will be realised by convening some expert meetings.
Task 2 will build on Task 1 : papers (and recorded discussions)
presented in each meeting will be edited and analysed. A draft
report will be draw up on the basis of these analyses.
B will be accomplished by fulfilling the following tasks:
Task 3 – Submission of the report drawn up as a result
of objective A to a public comment through some round Delphy
Task 4 – Preparation of a report to present the conclusions
of the Delphy questionnaire and submission of this report
to EU policy makers:
Task 3 will be realised through the “Delphy Method”,
a structured process used to collect and distil knowledge
from a group of experts by means of a series of questionnaires
interspersed with controlled opinion feedback.
Task 4 will be realised by writing a final report that will
incorporate teh results of the Delphy review.
the basis of this longer report, an executive report includind
a list of recommendations will also be drawn up. Both reports
will be submitted to a selected audience of EU policy makers
during a final high level seminar that will conclude the project.