A complaint lodged by the Association Européenne de la Pensée Libre – Europe against the European Commission in 2012 with regard to the composition of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE). The task of the EGE shall be to advise the Commission on ethical questions relating to sciences and new technologies, either at the request of the Commission or on its own initiative.
The complaint was made up out of two parts:
1) The Commission failed to ensure tha the EGE, in its current composition, is and independent and pluralist body.
2) The Commission should ensure that the criteria used to appoint the members of the EGE are not discriminatory and do not lead to the over-representation of specific religious groups, or religious groups in general.
The decision of the European Ombudsman can be found here. The Ombudsman was of the opinion that the complaint was unfounded and that no maladministration has been found in the present case.
In a response to the decision, lodger of the complaint Alan Frommer, President of the Association Européenne de la Pensée Libre-Europe, state the following: ”
We have decided to accept the Mediator’s decision, as no appeal is possible, and to concentrate on influencing the future composition of the EGE so that it is properly balanced between god-believers and secular persons.
We may have lost this battle on a formal basis but we think that we have won a political battle given the remark of the Mediator about the future criteria for the EGE and especially the invitation for secular persons to present their candidacy. We think that, thanks to our complaint, no matter who is the future president of the European Commission, we have made it impossible to designate an EGE in which the views of the secular movement is not strongly represented.
We have already started work on finding highly qualified experts who are also secular as candidates for the next EGE, which will start work in 2016. The call for candidates will commence at the start of 2015. We call on our all members to help find credible candidates. We will shortly send you a communication about the necessary criteria for being a candidate.
In the next nine months we have to find the candidates who will express our view of the world in the EGE.”