Neurosociety Media Centre/Neuroglial/Policy units

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Policy organisations with an interest in Neuroscience

UK[edit | edit source]



Italy[edit | edit source]

Comitato Nazionale di Bioetica[edit | edit source]

National Bioethics Committee

Conferenza delle regioni e delle province autonome[edit | edit source]

conferenza delle regioni e delle province autonome

  • Responsabile Salute e Politiche sociali: Marina Principe (Dirigente)
  • Responsabile istruzione e assistenza scolastica; lavoro e formazione; università e ricerca scientifica; comunicazione; immigrazione; beni culturali, biblioteche, spettacolo, cinema; coordinamento Conferenza Unificata: Arianna Borghetti (Dirigente)

European[edit | edit source]

Bureau of European Policy Advisers (BEPA)[edit | edit source]

Bureau of European Policy Advisers (BEPA) aims to provide timely, informed, policy and political advice to the President and Commission Services on issues relevant to the President's agenda and the future of policies in the Union. Contact

Brain Policy Forum[edit | edit source]

The 2nd 2008.htm European Brain Policy Forum focussed on Depression and the European Society and took place at the Renaissance Brussels, Hotel, in Brussels on 25-26th February 2009.

3rd EBPF France 2010 on Alzheimer’s disease, 4th EBPF Spain 2011 on Schizophrenia.

Court of Justice[edit | edit source]

The Court of Justice has Research and Documentation Service, which has a dual task: assisting the Community Courts in the exercise of their jurisdictional function and contributing to the dissemination of Community case-law. There are around 35 lawyers in the service, covering, in principle, all Member States’ legal systems, and a multilingual secretariat which also manages a number of computer databases. Tel. Info off + 352 4303 3355 / 3366

European Brain Council[edit | edit source]

The European Brain Council (EBC) is a coordinating council formed by European organisations in neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, basic brain research (neuroscience), as well as patient organisations and industry. It therefore represents a vast network of patients, doctors and scientists and works in close partnership with the European Union commissions, the European Parliament and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as other decision-making bodies. The EBC was officially founded on 22 March 2002 in Brussels, and has offices in Brussels and Florence. You can read more about its political lobbying here.

European Commission[edit | edit source]

The European Commission will host the First meeting of the International Dialogue on Bioethics on 19 February 2009. This has video content, a brochure and a press release.

European Group on Ethics of New Science and Technologies (EGE)[edit | edit source]

European Group on Ethics of New Science and Technologies. The EGE's calendar can be found here. Meetings take place every third Tuesday (from 9:30 am) and Wednesday (until 05:00 pm) of each month till October 2009.

During its preparatory work for Opinion No. 25 the EGE will organize on 19 May 2009 a public roundtable debate on synthetic biology at the EC, Berlaymont building, Brussels.

Contact European Commission Berl 8/143 - B-1049 Brussels Fax : (32-2) 299 45 65 Email:

The EGE Secretariat within BEPA (Bureau of European Policy Advisors) is coordinating this Interservice Platform on Ethics and EU Policies which has been created in June 2006 in order to allow a better exchange of information and communication between the Commission services in the fields of ethics.

The platform on ethics and EU policies intends to achieve the following goals:

  • To coordinate actions on ethics across Commission services;
  • To allow a better exchange of information and communication between the Commission services in the fields of ethics and EU policies;
  • To facilitate interactions and links between Commission services on ethics and EU policies as well as on specific initiatives being organised;
  • To facilitate the coordination of contributions of EC Services with regard to initiatives on ethics of science carried out by International organisations, European Institutions, and relevant third parties.
  • European References on Ethics and Science
  • International References on Ethics in Science

European Parliament[edit | edit source]

The European Parliament offers traineeships and sudy visits. To find out more contact the Traineeships Office, KAD 02C008, L - 2929 LUXEMBOURG or email . The European Parliament has also established a web television channel (called "europarltv") to respond to the right of all citizens to know and understand what is happening in the institution that they have elected. The channel is designed to contribute to the democratisation of the European Union and to the development of a European public space. The respect of this charter is overseen by an Advisory Board, under the authority of the Bureau of the Parliament.


Special Interest Group

  • European Parliament Special Interest Group (SIG) on Brain Disorders

Scientific and Technology Options Assessment Unit[edit | edit source]

EP Committees may request assessment projects from STOA throughout the year. See the minutes of meetings and its calendarwhich are available here. Suggestions are examined by the STOA Panel and finally approved by the Bureau of the European Parliament. 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 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 and as a link via the website of the DG for research. STOA Final Studies can be downloaded in pdf format, along with many other items of interest. Archival materials can similarly be downloaded from this site.

The STOA Panel forms an integral part of the structure of the European Parliament. It is composed of 15 Members of the European Parliament. 14 Members of the Panel are nominated by six permanent Committees of the Parliament: ITRE, EMPL, ENVI, IMCO, TRAN and AGRI. The European Parliament Vice-President responsible for STOA is a Member of the Panel ex officio.

The STOA Bureau is comprised of the STOA Chair and the STOA Vice Chair, both elected by the STOA Panel, and the European Parliament Vice-President responsible for STOA.

The STOA Panel carries the political responsibility for STOA's work. The Panel decides on all STOA's activities. In its meetings the Panel reviews progress and hears presentations of ongoing or recently-completed projects.

The Panel meetings are public. All Members of Parliament are invited to participate, but only Panel members vote.

Operational responsibility is with the STOA team within Directorate A (Economic & Scientific Policies) of the Directorate-General for Internal Policies of the Union (DG IPOL). A permanent staff of three officials working in Brussels carries out STOA's programme. Additionally, visiting unpaid researchers and scholars paid under the Robert Schuman scheme work with the permanent staff on the basis of 5 month scientific scholarships.


European Parliaments Research Initiative[edit | edit source]

In March 1999 under the patronage of Laurent Fabius the French National Assembly organised the first European Conference of Members of Parliament on Information and Communication Technologies. Since then, parliamentarians from EU member states interested in information communication technologies (ICTs) have met in an annual sequel of EPRI conferences. The regular meetings established the European Parliaments Research Initiative as an institution.

EPRI knowledge provides a wide range of services. As an example studies carried out by the project are directly involved in the preparations of the EPRI workshops, working groups and conferences. They are one basis for organising the annual EPRI conference which facilitates access to other MPs for exchanging experiences and aims to expose its participants to general and specific IST issues and debates. The relevance of the EPRI conference is based on the combination of exchanging experiences, vision building and leadership development.

The working groups are an additional service organised by the EPRI Secretariat on inquiry of the Parliamentarians during the 7th EPRI conference 2004 in Stockholm. Although the results of the working groups will be combined with those from the workshops, the working groups are independently organised by the EPRI Secretariat. While the workshops are essentially based on the personal attendance on the workshop location, the working groups are intended to be on a virtual basis and on communication via Email.

EPRI knowledge is 36-month project funded by the EUROPEAN COMMISSION. The project consist of two partners. Teleport Sachsen- Anhalt GmbH ( as project coordinator and Polpit Ltd (

EPRI Secretariat c/o Teleport Sachsen-Anhalt GmbH Steinfeldstrasse 5 D-39179 Barleben Telefon: +49 39203 8 2556 Fax: +49 39203 8 2550 E-Mail:

European Parliamentary Technology Assessment Network-EPTA[edit | edit source]

EPTA holds an annual conference and issues a regular Newsletter. A researcher within STOA acts as EPTA coordinator.

European Science Foundation[edit | edit source]

The European Science Foundation runs its own policy unit. Key science policy publications of ESF are Science Policy Briefings and Science Position Papers of ESF Standing Committees and Expert Boards which, after a rigorous quality control (including external peer review) are published under the responsibility of the ESF Chief Executive and Standing Committees or Expert Boards respectively.

It describes 'Corporate Science Policy Initiatives', areas of emerging science policy challenges that are likely to impact on the way science is being funded and research is conducted. ESF together with its member organisations and other key players join efforts in helping raise awareness of pressing issues providing a venue to discuss common strategies and developed adequate solutions. ESF Standing Committees and Expert Boards are key players in the development of science policy strategies in their scientific fields and research areas. They produce position papers and briefings to ensure the voice of European science is heard and plays a role in major European science policy issues.

Science Officer in the CEO Unit: Dr.Alexis-Michel Mugabushaka

International[edit | edit source]

Forum on National Ethics Councils (NEC Forum)[edit | edit source]

The Forum on National Ethics Councils (NEC Forum) consists of the chairpersons and the secretaries of the National Ethics Councils. The President of the EGE and the President of the Bureau of COMETH (Council of Europe) are invited to the meetings.

The EGE (an independent, pluralist and multidisciplinary body which advises the European Commission on ethical aspects of science and new technologies as regards the preparation and implementation of Community legislation or policies) and the Forum "have complementary rather than competing roles". The former body is appointed to provide high-level specialist ethical advice to the European Commission, particularly in relation to the policy arena. The latter is set up under the Framework Programme as a networking activity with the aim of sharing information and exchanging best practices on issues of ethics and science. It is also clear that there is scope for the respective activities to be mutually reinforcing.

International Ethics Committees Networking Opportunities[edit | edit source]

The European Conference of National Ethics Committees (COMETH) is composed of representatives of national ethics committees (or equivalent bodies) in Member States of the Council of Europe. The purpose of the Conference is to promote co-operation between national ethics committees, help countries wishing to set up a national ethics committee and to promote public debate on ethical issues raised by progress in the fields of biology, medicine and public health. COMETH holds biennial meetings. The next one is due in May 2009.

Composition of the Bureau of the Conference Chair: Rena Petridou (Cyprus) Vice-Chair: Jean-Claude Ameisen (France) Givi Javashvili (Georgia) Rudolf Teuwsen (Germany) László Szönyi (Hungary) Paula Martinho da Silva (Portugal) Christoph Rehmann-Sutter (Switzerland)

Links to national Ethics committees can be found here

UNESCO[edit | edit source]

Bioethics Committees reinforce the role of UNESCO as an international clearing house for ethical issues. Ethics committees will furthermore be one of the most important intermediary bodies for the implementation of the normative instruments adopted by the member states. In many countries, experiences exist with bioethics committees at various levels of government.

However, in the majority of member states, such committees do not exist at the moment. UNESCO has initiated a program to support the establishment and operations of bioethics committees (ABC project – Assisting Bioethics Committees). The primary focus is on National Bioethics Committees involved in policy-advice, public debate and education.

UNESCO Bioethics Committee[edit | edit source]

UNESCO's International Bioethics Committee has just published a report and programme. It will hold its sixth session in Paris in June 2009.

WHO[edit | edit source]

WHO Ethics

Journalistic[edit | edit source]

Research Fortnight or Nature