MINUTES OF THE ADDITIONAL EPTA-DIRECTORS MEETING IN PARIS, FRANCE
27 September 2004
Prospects of exchanging personnel between EPTA member institutions
Recalling the conclusion and the analyses contained in the note previously
sent to all EPTA members by Mr David COPE (POST, United Kingdom), Mrs Jofey
CRAIG (POST, United Kingdom) more specifically emphasised the obstacles formed
by the small-sized staff at each member institution, the language, cultural
and organisational particularities, and the highly variable nature of ties
with parliaments. These various points were addressed by each of the members
who also stated their personal experiences.
Mr Sergio BELLUCCI (TA-Swiss) said he would like progress to be made in this
field beyond the visits which everyone recognised as being of interest.
Mr J.F. PEYROT (OPECST – France) suggested that each member draft a
list of the actions already performed (visits, training sessions, and exchanges)
and emphasised the interest of itemising the topics that lend themselves to
Mr Lars KLÜVER (Teknologirådet – Denmark) felt that it was
— Better state the purpose of and develop visits (short-length) to the
— Envisage exchanges, but while being aware of the many difficulties
this raises, and while respecting the customary relations between partner institutions;
— Define joint projects on which these exchanges should focus. In this
respect, information has been given on the latest developments of the joint
study project on privacy: Denmark, Norway and Austria have been joined by the
United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Flanders.
Presenting his note previously sent to all the members, Mr Lars KLÜVER
recalled the shortcomings of the site in its present form and particularly
the limits of the use of a search engine which was however promising initially.
As it therefore appeared out of the question to improve the current presentation,
he clarified his proposals to considerably improve the service rendered by
this site to the members of the network, bearing in mind that these proposals
can be implemented by his institution (the Danish Teknologirådet), but
in cooperation with each institution, especially as regards updatings.
He therefore proposed the setting up of a specific data base accessible from
the homepage; of voluntarily limited scope, it would involve two updatings
After a broad exchange of views during which everyone thanked Mr Lars KLÜVER
for his involvement in this field, this option was adopted.
Then addressing the issue of the EPTA site intranet, Mr Lars KLÜVER said
that while this was a good idea, the feasibility appeared doubtful; the various
players also stated their perplexity, particularly as regards the real need
for an intranet.
Lastly, concerning the presentation of the website itself, it should be envisaged
to call in a specific designer. Mr Lars KLÜVER estimated the cost of this
operation which should be shared between all the members (between 5,000 euros
and 10,000 euros). Clarifications shall be given on this point at the directors’ meeting
in March 2005.
Format of the directors’ meeting
Regarding this pointed included on the agenda on request by Mr Lars KLÜVER,
the latter felt that the format of the directors’ meeting (in spring)
could evolve by reducing or eliminating the review of the work by each institution,
all the more so since the renovated website will make this presentation unnecessary.
Emphasis could be placed on the methodology rather than on the subject matter
of studies. The directors’ meeting should be clearly distinguished from
the conference (autumn) where parliamentarians are the target group. Messrs.
Armin GRUNWALD, J.F. PEYROT, and P.DALLY, spoke on these points by also recalling
that the conference itself is above all aimed at parliamentarians.
Messrs. S. BELLUCCI, R.M. DUBOIS, J.ARY and R. BERLOZNIK then spoke on the
need to target the topics. Mr BERLOZNIK also mentioned the need for a collective
approach allowing emphasis to be placed on what can be learnt mutually.
Documentary exchanges between bodies
The need for English summaries of each document sent or mentioned on the website
was recalled, as well as some translation possibilities which M. R.MEYER mentioned
Prospects of setting up or resetting up technology assessment bodies
in some parliaments
The information previously sent by David COPE was recalled, particularly as
regards the successive attempts at resetting up the US Congress OTA.
In Sweden, an agreement has been signed between the Parliament (Riksdag) and
RIFO (Association of Swedish Members of Parliament and Researchers); the chairperson
of RIFO will give further details in this respect at the October EPTA meeting
where she will be invited.
In Spain, there is a prospect of setting up a technology assessment body within
the Cortes and, in the Czech Republic, the Academy of Sciences has entered
into contacts with Parliament with a similar view in mind.
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