Daniel Gueguen

Below is an extract from an Euractiv report on a speech by a Commission Director at the European Parliament on 12 October 2016:

Marie Donnelly, Director for Renewables, Research, and Energy Efficiency in the Commission’s Energy directorate, explained the reasons behind the decision to phase out first generation biofuels…

In essence, she said the Commission should take public perceptions into account when deciding on policy, even when they are wrong. And in the case of biofuels, public opinion is simply negative, she argued.

“We cannot just be led by economic models and scientific theories,” Donnelly said. “We have to be very sensitive to the reality of citizens’ concerns, sometimes even if these concerns are emotive rather than factual based or scientific”.

I recently wrote an article about endocrine disruptors, a topic where we see the science profoundly disputed by different parties, making the decision-making procedure even more difficult.

But this is even worse. The Commission seems to be saying (or at least thinking) that even when citizens are wrong, their views should be given equal weight when the EU is debating important policy issues.

There is no longer any rationality in decision-making. Interpretation and emotion dominates because science is no longer recognised as a source of progress

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