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Expertise as Justification: The Contested Legitimation of the EU ‘Risk Administration’

M. Weimer and A. De Ruijter (eds), Regulating Risks in the European Union – The Co-Production of Expert and Executive Power, Hart Publishing, Forthcoming

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance Research Paper No. 2016-02

Postnational Rulemaking Working Paper No. 2016-06

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2016-19

34 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2016 Last revised: 15 Apr 2016

Maria Weimer

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance, University of Amsterdam

Gaia Pisani

Cardiff University - Cardiff Law School

Date Written: April 8, 2016

Abstract

The legitimate role of scientific expertise in EU public decision-making on risk and technology has been subject to a fierce discussion over the last two decades. The main paradox identified is that despite the acknowledgement that its legitimating resources are limited amidst the politics of risk, EU decision-makers continue to invoke science as the main source of justification for regulatory decisions on risk. This paper contributes to unpacking this paradox by discussing the role of science in EU risk regulation from the perspective of administrative legitimation. It shows that key notions, such as science, risk and uncertainty, are significantly shaped within the legal-administrative discourse on the legitimate role of the EU public administration within the EU legal and political system. The paper analyses decisions of the Commission, a EU agency and the EU general court in the highly controversial field of administrative authorisation of Genetically Modified Organisms. In these decisions it traces back two competing models of administrative legitimation, the control and the deliberative model, each entailing different understandings of the role of science in administration. The paper suggests that these models should be understood as two contrast points the tension between which fosters the search for an adequate concept of administrative legitimation of the EU risk administration.

Keywords: EU, risk regulation, risk administration, public administration, administrative legitimation, GMOs

JEL Classification: K2; K23; K32; K00; K20; K30

Suggested Citation

Weimer, Maria and Pisani, Gaia, Expertise as Justification: The Contested Legitimation of the EU ‘Risk Administration’ (April 8, 2016). M. Weimer and A. De Ruijter (eds), Regulating Risks in the European Union – The Co-Production of Expert and Executive Power, Hart Publishing, Forthcoming; Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance Research Paper No. 2016-02; Postnational Rulemaking Working Paper No. 2016-06; Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2016-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2760791

Maria Weimer (Contact Author)

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance, University of Amsterdam ( email )

P.O.Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

Gaia Pisani

Cardiff University - Cardiff Law School ( email )

PO Box 427
Cardiff, Wales CF10 3AX
United Kingdom

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