GARRI-6-2014 - Reducing the risk of exporting non ethical practices to third countries
Specific challenge: Taking into account the progressive globalisation of research activities, there is a rising risk of research with sensitive ethical issues being conducted by European organisations outside the EU without proper compliance structures and follow-up. The risk of ethics dumping - the exportation of research practices that would not be accepted in Europe on ethical grounds - and the mechanisms to mitigate this risk shall be actively addressed.
Scope: The primary objective of this action is to address the risk of dumping for public and private research by promoting an active collaboration between European, national and international ethics bodies. The proposals shall involve different actors: ethics bodies, funding organisations, governmental actors, and Civil Society Organisations representing the interests of the local populations. Cooperation shall build up at multiple levels: within the EU, between the EU and other high-income countries, between high-income countries and low-income countries where the risks of dumping is higher. Activities shall be based on case studies involving local structures, avoiding gender bias, in countries where the research takes place and impacts population. Good practices shall be identified, with a view to elaborate an operational code of conduct for all actors concerned.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of the order of EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Expected impact: This action will reduce the risks of ethics dumping in research and improve the adherence to high ethical standards in areas of the world where it is needed. As a consequence, research carried out outside the EU will be compliant and consistent with EU-based research and acceptable and exploitable in the EU. In the medium term, due to active collaboration on multiple levels and the sharing of good practices, research practices of research institutions outside the EU will be impacted and ameliorated. In the long term, highest ethical standards will spread globally, thus creating a level playing field and a clear structure of incentives for research competitiveness.
Type of action: Coordination and Support Actions.