MEP Julie Girling will deliver the keynote address “Risk-based policy making in Europe: lessons from the European Parliament” ahead of the first panel discussion at the European Risk Summit on 11–12 June 2013 in Trinity College Dublin.
Julie Girling was born in London and began her political life at university. She moved quickly through in the ranks of Cotswold District Council and Gloucestershire County Council and, in 2005, was elected Lead Cabinet Member for the Environment. She was elected MEP for the South West of England and Gibraltar in June 2009.
Julie is a well-established policymaker with particular experience in the area of risk and science.
Wary of an “overly risk averse” approach which is popular, Julie emphasised in a recent contribution to The Parliament Magazine, the need for policymakers to “work to balance the concerns of their citizens with the responsibility of safeguarding European innovation” while at the same time reassuring, “a concerned public without damaging vulnerable economic sectors.”
Recognising the high-speed, high-pressure culture we currently live in, Julie understands that policymakers are “becoming increasingly risk averse in order to satisfy public pressure and avoid neglect” but warned that “over-precautionary reactions to these campaigns can have serious implications”.
Policymakers need to be able to “justify to concerned citizens, businesses and consumers exactly why certain regulations and directives have been passed and give good reasons for the resulting costs”.
With this in mind, Julie established the informal working group on risk-based policymaking in the European Parliament. This working group allows MEPs to come together with stakeholders, European Commission representatives and national experts to discuss how better to incorporate risk into all stages of policymaking.
Julie is a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) and is member and spokesperson of the European Parliament Agriculture (AGRI) Committee and the Conservative Agricultural. In addition, she sits on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee.