Guidance for future application of the precautionary principle

As a last step of the project, the RECIPES team has developed a Guidance for application of the precautionary principle in the EU. The guidance advises on how to deal responsibly with uncertain risks in the development and implementation of technology in the EU. Target groups of this guidance are primarily EU policy makers, EU agencies, and EU policy support organisations and bodies that are concerned with risk regulation or the governance of science, technology and innovation.

The main documents are:

Themes of the guidance

The guidance for future application of the precautionary principle covers the three meta-themes identified in the needs assessment:

Participation Participation


Organisation Organisation and production of expertise


Application Extent of application


Development process

After having identified the needs of stakeholders for guidance to support the future application of the precautionary principle in a co-creative process, the RECIPES team developed guidance for the three meta-themes identified.

Stakeholder phase 1: Consultation workshops

During June 2021, the RECIPES team consulted twice with stakeholders: During the first consultation workshop, it gathered feedback on the first ideas developed for the three meta-themes. During the second consultation workshop, the RECIPES team asked stakeholders to perform a SWOT analysis for the first draft of the guidance.

Stakeholder phase 2: Multi-criteria assessment

During September 2021, the RECIPES team scrutinized an elaborated version of the guidance via a modified participatory multi-criteria assessment. The purpose was to ensure that the guidance will be of relevance and acceptable for different stakeholders. To this end, the RECIPES team facilitated an open-ended focus group discussion based on a range of criteria, including accessibility and concreteness. The RECIPES methodology developed for planning and implementation of the multi-criteria assessment is available HERE.

Stakeholder phase 3: Policy workshop

In February 2022, the RECIPES team discussed a pre-final version of the guidance at the European Policy Workshop: “Precaution for responsible innovation” with policy makers and policy advisors to further improve its clarity, plausibility and policy relevance.


Please refer to the individual reports for the list of authors.

Guidelines & Recommendations
Policy Brief
Publishing Date