Slow Food Europe has joined over 65 civil society organizations and networks calling for the removal of the “innovation principle” from Horizon Europe program for 2021-2028 which will replace the current Horizon 2020. In a joint statement, organizations urge the Council of the European Union which convenes today for the final negotiations of the legislative package for Horizon Europe to act now and remove all references to this principle.
Civil society rejects the innovation principle because: it has no legal basis; it is incompatible with the precautionary principle; and it ignores the fact that regulation is a driver of good innovation for society’s benefit. It is crucial to note that the inclusion of the innovation principle has implications far beyond research and innovation. It represents a potential threat to regulation on many key societal issues including health, food, agriculture, and climate.
Slow Food Europe has earlier expressed its concerns that the innovation principle could undermine EU laws on chemicals, novel foods, pesticides, and research concerning genetically modified organisms (GMO), new breeding technologies (NBTs) or affect the ban on pesticides like neonicotinoids.
The innovation principle was coined by the European Risk Forum, a major lobby platform for industries such as chemicals, tobacco, and fossil fuels. It is supported by big business from chemicals, food and agribusiness, plastics, pharma.
The full statement of civil society organizations is available here.
The article on Slow Food Europe’s position on the innovation principle is available here.