The theory of the “risk society” has its core in the dangers to health and environment deriving from the relationship among: firms, competition, market and production. It shifts the attention from firms’ entrepreneurial choices to the creation of “social exposures to risk”. There, indeed, exists an unbreakable correlation between enterprise risks, based on techno-economic choices, and citizens and consumers’ unaware and accidental exposure to new risks. Nowadays, science tends to loose its autonomy, blending itself into technique and, in the meantime, fails to deliver “certainties” on how to best face and neutralize the risks it (more or less directly) creates itself. Therefore, risk calculation, as defined so far by science and legal systems, is likely to crumble. Examples of fields requiring trade-offs between demands of economic production and the need to guarantee the safety and freedom of individuals and communities are many, e.g.: air and electromagnetic pollution, water safeguard, waste management, risky industrial activities, Genetically Modified Organisms and Micro-Organisms, food safeguards, drugs for human consumption, and so on. As well-known, the precautionary principle is the basic principle of action by public powers in cases of scientific uncertainty. This essay aims to emphasise the precautionary principle’s “procedural” character, which is strictly linked with the concept of the “reflexive” Administration. The research will be conducted through the analysis of the EU law. Moreover, inside the “Administrative law Community”, the essay will try to point out some major consequences of European Administrative law on the Italian Administrative law system.
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