Two foundations of regulatory choice, precaution and innovation, co-exist in the political system of the European Union (EU). At the conceptual level the two foundations are complementary, and are both endorsed by the EU institutions, albeit in different ways and with different legal status. In the real-life of EU policymaking processes, however, precaution and innovation often become the terrain of polarised views anchored to technocratic or populist positions that erode trust in EU governance. We propose a way forward to this state of play. Instead of seeing the two foundations as opposite, we explore their dyadic relationship. We show that a conversation between the two is possible via an original reformulation of precaution and innovation. The reconciliation of precaution and innovation, we argue, is effective only in a context of social trust about the reconciled definitions. We propose the analytical and normative framework as seal of social trust. Nonviolence can assist the EU and its citizens in the path towards innovation that is socially responsible, future-proof and accountable, and enhance precaution as internalised commitment of decision-makers as well as scientific and social communities.
European Union, Innovation, Nonviolence, Precaution, Regulation, Scientific research
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