General

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION on the precautionary principle

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SUMMARY

1. The issue of when and how to use the pre­cau­tion­ary prin­ciple, both with­in the European Uni­on and inter­na­tion­ally, is giv­ing rise to much debate, and to mixed, and some­times con­tra­dict­ory views. Thus, decision-makers are con­stantly faced with the dilemma of bal­an­cing the free­dom and rights of indi­vidu­als, industry and organ­isa­tions with the need to reduce the risk of adverse effects to the envir­on­ment, human, anim­al or plant health. There­fore, find­ing the cor­rect bal­ance so that the pro­por­tion­ate, non-dis­­crim­in­at­ory, trans­par­ent and coher­ent actions can be taken, requires a struc­tured decision-mak­ing pro­cess with detailed sci­entif­ic and oth­er object­ive inform­a­tion.