UNI Europa calls for the rejection of the “innovation principle” from Horizon Europe

Wednesday 13 March 2019

Ahead of tomorrow’s trilogue meeting between the EU institutions which will agree on the legislative package for the EU research programme Horizon Europe, UNI Europa joins together with civil society organisations to call on the EU Parliament and Council to remove the “innovation principle” from Horizon Europe. The so-called “innovation principle” represents a red line for us  – the threats posed to human health, environment and sustainability are substantial and should not be allowed to go ahead.

The “innovation principle” presents a new form of impact assessment to ensure that “whenever policy or regulatory decisions are under consideration the impact on innovation should be assessed and addressed”. It is not a principle of law, but a tool that creates more leverage for business interests in the early phase of decision making. The “innovation principle” has the potential to severely risk undermining the Precautionary Principle and, in turn, EU social and environmental protection.  In UNI Europa we want to be clear; Innovation is a process to achieve social, economic or environmental purposes. It is not a goal or principle in itself. It should not be abused to weaken the precautionary principle and, in turn, undermine any social advances.

There is no need for this ‘innovation principle’ and it could weaken the impact of the precautionary principle that was adopted to prevent serious harm to human health and the environment,” says UNI Europa Regional Secretary Oliver Roethig.

We don’t want democratic debate to be silenced, nor that regulation is not possible in the interest of citizens and workers. Innovation is a means to achieve social, economic and environmental good, and is not a goal or ‘principle’.

In UNI Europa, we stand together to urge the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament to act now and delete all references to this dangerous tool.

Find the joint statement here.

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