In the past few years, the EU has been establishing a new regulatory framework for GMOs, a central issue in the governance of risk that came under fierce attack in the mid-1990s. The primary question addressed in this article is whether this new framework will be able to solve the legitimacy problem of GMO governance at the EU level. Focusing on theories concerning input–output legitimacy and democracy and the role of expertise, this article examines the level of involvement of stakeholders in the process leading to the new rules; the predominant mechanisms of representation that have been used in that process; and the forms of participation in the day-to-day governance of risk as envisaged in the new rules. Based on document analysis and a series of interviews with central stakeholders, the conclusions bring up two further theoretical matters regarding EU governance, namely the transformative nature of citizenship and the conceptual distinction between input- and output-legitimacy.
Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2006, Vol 73, Issue 1, p. 61-75