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The German Ethics Council

Host of the Global Summit 2016

The German Ethics Council had been unanimously mandated to host the 11th Global Summit of National Ethics/Bioethics Committees in Berlin. After the vote of delegates from over 50 countries at the Global Summit 2014 in Mexico City, it was the honour of the German Ethics Council to promote and foster international cooperation and debate on bioethical questions in the framework of the Global Summit 2016.

Mandate and Work Programme

The German Ethics Council serves both as a forum for dialogue on ethical issues in the life sciences and as an advisory body to the Parliament and to the Government. The Ethics Council Act of 16 July 2007 provides the legal foundation for the council's work. According to this, the council has been mandated to pursue questions of ethics, society, science, medicine and law and the probable consequences for the individual and society that result in connection with research and development, in particular in the field of the life sciences and their application to humanity. The council chooses its own topics but may also deal with a topic on request of the German Bundestag or the Federal Government.


The German Ethics Council has twenty-six members who are specializing in scientific, medical, theological, ethical, social, economic and legal concerns. The members are appointed for a period of fours years by the President of the German Bundestag, half on the proposal of the German Bundestag and half on the proposal of the Federal Government. The composition of the council reflects a variety of ethical approaches and a pluralist spectrum of opinion.

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