STOA BASIC BRIEF
THE SCIENTIFIC ASSESSMENT TECHNOLOGY POLICY OPTIONS FOR THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
The impact of science and technology on EU policy
Today many of the issues coming before the European Parliament have a scientific or technological theme. They may be proposals directly relating to research or innovation policy, or measures concerning the many ways in which science and technology impact on society, the economy or the environment.
STOA: a resource for the European Parliament
The European Parliament defines its position on these issues through reports prepared by its Committees. If Committees or individual Members decide that it would be helpful to their policy making role to seek out expert, independent scientific assessments of the various technology options in the policy sectors concerned, then they have STOA at their disposal: the Parliament's own Scientific Technology Options Assessment unit.
Access to independent, outside expertise
STOA is an official organ of the European Parliament, but its work is carried out by an external contractor, with whom the Parliament concludes a framework contract. The contractor has to contribute the expertise of several scientific institutions from several Member States. The service provided under the contract comprises the project management, the scientific analysis of the issue, the highlighting of options for action, and a presentation of the results in a manner understandable to a layperson. These increasingly comprise round-table expert discussions, conferences and workshops with associated or consequent studies at which members of Parliament 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.
The STOA Bureau and Panel
The STOA Bureau runs the activities of STOA and prepares the Panel meetings. The STOA Panel is politically responsible for STOA's work. It is composed of MEPs nominated by six parliamentary Committees. The European Parliament's Vice-President responsible for STOA is ex officio member of the STOA Panel and Bureau. The Panel considers the proposals submitted by the various Committees or individual Members and decides, according to the following criteria, on those that will be carried out as STOA projects:
- the strategic importance of the proposal and its alignment with STOA priorities,
- the relevance of the subject to Parliament's work,
- the scientific and technological nature of the proposal, and
- the availability of scientific evidence covering the same subject.
How to use STOA
EP Committees may request assessment projects from STOA throughout the year. MEPs may attend the STOA Panel and STOA meetings, which are also open to EP officials/political group staff and MEPs' assistants, as well as representatives of other institutions. A STOA Newsletter is sent to a wide range of recipients and all those who have asked to be placed on the mailing list. STOA's details and publications are available from the STOA website accessible via the Europarl site http://www.europarl.eu.int/stoa/default_en.htm. STOA Briefings, Studies, Executive Summaries and Options Briefs can be directly downloaded in pdf format.
The STOA Team
Operational responsibility is with the STOA Team in Policy Department A: Economic and Scientific Policy of the Directorate-General for Internal Policies of the Union.
A permanent or contractual staff of five persons working in Brussels carries out STOA's programme. Additionally, visiting paid or unpaid trainees work with the staff on the basis of 4 - 5 month scientific scholarships.
STOA is committed to cooperation with the best and most up-to-date expertise in Europe and worldwide. STOA's visiting scholars and contractors have been drawn from all the EU Member States, candidate countries, Switzerland, Russia and the USA.
As well as its external contractors, STOA has established good relations with relevant Directorates-General of the Commission, the Joint Research Centre, including especially its Institute for Prospective Technological Studies in Sevilla, and with such bodies as WHO, UNEP, OECD, CERN and EPO. It is in permanent dialogue with other technology assessment agencies.
The EPTA Network
STOA is a founding and active member of the European Parliamentary Technology Assessment Network-EPTA. The other partner organisations are the national parliamentary technology assessment bodies of Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and the regional parliamentary technology assessment bodies of Catalonia and Flanders. EPTA holds an annual conference and an annual Directors' meeting.
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|Directorate-General for Internal Policies|
|WELLE, Klaus||Director-General|| +32 2 28-46242||ATR 01L030|
|Directorate A - Economic and Scientific Policy|
|LEPOUTRE-DUMOULIN, Thérèse||Director||+32 2 28-44374||ATR 00L030|
|Policy Department A: Economic and Scientific Policy|
|KARAPIPERIS, Theodoros||Head of Unit||+32 2 28-43812 ||ATR 00L048|
|CHLOUPKOVA, Jarka ||Administrator ||+32 2 28-40606 ||ATR 00L008|
|GYOERFFI, Miklos ||Administrator ||+32 2 28-32505 ||ATR 00L004|
|HOITSCH, Karin ||Secretary ||+32 2 28-40710 ||ATR 00L046|
|LACOURT-PENSIS, Nicole ||Secretary ||+32 2 28-44645 ||ATR 00K070|