A human rights perspective…citizen participation…EU’s…new technologies (M.L. Flear and A. Vakulenko)


Mark L. Flear and Anastasia Vakulenko


Biotechnology; EU law; Human rights; Information technology; Public participation


This article considers the EU’s approach to citizen participation in the governance of new technologies from a human rights perspective. Noting that there is a dearth of insight on the interplay between citizen participation and human rights, the article sketches the essence of its own human rights perspective as being about empowerment. This perspective is brought to bear on EU discourse on citizen participation in the governance of new technologies. Analysis of the discourse–comprising law, citizen participation in EU governance and citizen/science relations, the ‘public understanding of science and technology’, risk and bioethics–reveals a disempowering ‘deficit model’ of citizens in need of education through their participation in governance. The analysis thus suggests that citizen participation in EUgovernance of new technologies is not truly informed by human rights, but is instead used as a legitimating technique.


(2010) Human Rights Law Review 661


A human rights perspective on citizen participation in the EU’s governance of new technologies