Civil Society Involvement in the EU Regulations on GMOs: From the Design of a Participatory Garden to Growing Trees of European Public Debate

Patrycja Dabrowska-Klosinska

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This paper examines the public involvement in a particularly sensitive and highly contentious field of EU policy making: the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) sector. It argues for the establishment of a larger public debate in the EU policy field and interactive discourses that involve public voices, rather than just technocrats or scientists, in the GMO sector. In terms of deliberative democracy, an assessment of the EU's GMO regime is mixed: on the one hand, new practices have been introduced, which indicate a shift towards more participatory policy making; on the other, enhanced societal participation does not necessarily support the emergence of a larger engaged public and deliberation in the general public sphere. Thus, after the design of the ‘participatory garden’, the wider European public debate on GMOs has not ‘grown’ due to a lack of horizontal co-ordination among EU initiatives; the preference for institutionalized forms of cooperation with civil society; and the lack of evaluation methods for public involvement in GMO approvals.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)287-304
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Civil Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2007

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