Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

To provide the European Parliament with expert advice on scientific and technological policy options in order to support the policy-making activities of the Parliamentary Committees and the individual Members of the European Parliament in the sectors concerned.

Abstract

STOA was established to assist the European Parliament's Committees and individual Members to define their positions on issues relating to research and innovation policy, and other measures concerning the different ways in which science and technology impact on society, the economy and the environment.

STOA is committed to cooperation with the best and most up-to-date expertise in Europe and elsewhere. Members of the STOA Team have been drawn from all the EU Member States, plus the United States, Russia, and the Czech Republic. STOA has established good relations with the relevant Commission Directorates-General and the Joint Research Centre (JRC), as well as international bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It has close contacts with other technology dialogue agencies, notably the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) at the US Congress, and similar European bodies.

In addition, a member of the STOA Team coordinates the European Parliamentary Technology Assessment, which is composed of STOA and the Parliamentary Technology Assessment bodies of Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Recent study projects funded under the STOA programme have included: Evaluating US and Japanese technology; EU energy policy; Renewable energy technologies; The technological City; Nutrition in Europe; Pollution in the Mediterranean sea; Desertification; Biotechnology and cereals production in developing countries; European armaments industry; Environmental impact of assistance to Central and Eastern Europe; and Nuclear reactor safety in the Former Soviet Union.

STOA produces a monthly Newsletter which is sent to all those who have requested their name to be included on the mailing list. A catalogue of STOA publications is updated periodically. This, together with the publications themselves, are available on request from the STOA Unit.

Subdivision

No details are available for this field.

Implementation

STOA is an official organ of the European Parliament whose operation and activities are funded on an annual basis from the Parliament's budget. STOA commissions its assessment studies to external experts which may comprise of individual researchers on short-term contracts at one of the official places of work of the Parliament (STOA fellows and scholars), or outside researchers, research institutes, laboratories, etc. to whom contracts are given to prepare specific studies.

The day-to-day operation of the STOA programme is the responsibility of the "STOA Team" in the Parliament's Directorate-General for Research. It consists of officials from the European Parliament and other experts on short-term contracts as STOA Fellows or STOA Scholars.

The political and policy coordination of STOA's work is overseen by the "STOA Panel" which is composed of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) nominated to the panel as representatives of the Parliament's various Standing Committees. The STOA panel meets once a month in Strasbourg. Any Committee with an interest in the impact of science on policy may be represented by a Member and a deputy Member. Whilst participation in the STOA Panel meetings is open to all MEPs, only Panel Members may vote. The Committees involved in the STOA Panel in the past have included: Budgets, Research Technological Development and Energy, Agriculture, Economic and Monetary Affairs, Legal affairs, Environment, Transport, Petitions, Development and Budgetary Control.

The STOA panel establishes the annual workplan in January from proposals presented by Parliamentary Committees and individual MEPs. Only Members of the European Parliament may request STOA to carry out assessment projects on their behalf. Priority is given to those projects which are linked to the Parliament's legislative activities.

The 1995 Workplan is due to be finalised by the end of February 1995. The following activities were included in the 1994 Workplan:

- Biodiversity in Europe;
- Technology and the quality of regional development in the European Union;
- Energy and climate;
- Technologies for the development of sustainable and competitive European industry;
- Smaller projects (such as "Scientists in ex-COMECON states"; "Satellites for multi-lingual telecoms"; "Support to a R&D evaluation newsletter"; and "The European researcher: mobility and cooperation").

Calls for proposals for STOA-funded projects are periodically published in the Official Journal of the European Communities, series C.

Subjects

Forecasting - Policies
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