How will we provide and organize healthcare services to an ageing population whilst, at the same time, the proportion of the working population is on the decline? Will health policies promote the use of genetics for the prevention of certain diseases? How can reliable and affordable energy be supplied to individuals and industries whilst preserving the climate and the environment?

Shaping the future of Europe and national States is a challenge for policy-makers as it relates to very complex and often uncertain situations. Nevertheless, people expect policy-makers to take the best possible decisions. Consequently, policy-makers have to consider all relevant and known facts as well as the needs and ambitions of societal actors.

Technology Assessment can help policy-makers in this respect, as it provides scientific evidence, scenarios, policy analysis and insights concerning the societal challenges and opportunities related to science, technology and innovation. It works with methods which integrate various scientific disciplines, as well as the interests and values present among citizens and stakeholders in society. This provides policy-makers with a wide and integrative view of the issues with which they have to deal.

Expanding and Strengthening TA through debate

Two European-wide meetings with policy-makers from all Europe were organised during the PACITA project. Elected members of parliaments, but other policy-makers such as policy advisers, members of ministries or cabinets, EU officials, etc. were invited to exchange their views and expectations towards knowledge-based policy-making. Aim of these two events was to build a common understanding of Technology Assessment, while taking into consideration the political and institutional specificities of each country. Such a common understanding is a necessary step towards the further deployment of TA activities in Europe.

  • The first Parliamentary Debate, “Knowledge-based policy-making”, was held on 18 June 2012 in the Parliament of Denmark, in the city of Copenhagen. During this meeting, the policy-makers shared with the TA community their expectations and concerns related to the mission of Technology Assessment (read more).
  • The second Debate, “Strengthening Technology Assessment for Policy-Making”, was organised on 7 and 8 April 2014 in the Portuguese Parliament, in Lisbon. The debate focused on the actual developments in the TA landscape (initiated or supported by PACITA activities) and the means for consolidating them (read more).