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Risk Communication and Management in the 21st Century « International regulation « Topics « Downloads
|Date posted||April 1, 2010|
|Categories||International regulation, Working paper, Lofstedt, Ragnar|
Environmental, food, and health regulation in the UK and in many other European countries is in a state of crisis. Following a series of regulatory scandals, regulators decided that drastic changes were needed. There would be no more consensual style regulation with closed-door deliberations between industry and regulators. The public’s trust toward regulators had disappeared, and the continued deteriorating situation was not made better by an increasingly aggressive media trying to either directly or indirectly discredit the regulators by unnecessarily amplifying risks and, in many cases, manufacturing uncertainty. Regulators and their advisors took the view that the best way out of this quagmire would be to put forward a new model of regulatory decision-making. This model would be based on transparency throughout the regulatory process and would encourage public and stakeholder deliberation. The model would also promote risk-averse decision making such as the adoption of the precautionary principle, as regulators are frightened about possible scandals lurking around the corner. Finally, in the new model, scientists are to a certain degree demoted. The new model of regulatory decision-making is not problem-free, however. It has a number of teething problems, which this paper addresses.