Paris, 31 August 2000
The inaugural workshop of the Forum on Stakeholder Confidence, set up in the framework of the radioactive waste management activities of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), took place in Paris on 28-31 August 2000.
This forum, the first of its type world-wide, has been set up to facilitate the sharing of Member country experience in addressing the societal dimension of radioactive waste management, to explore means to ensure an effective dialogue with the public, and consider ways to strengthen confidence in decision-making processes. Its establishment reflects a growing recognition of the importance of the social dimension of radioactive waste management.
Under the chairmanship of Mr. Yves Le Bars, President of the French National Agency for Radioactive Waste (ANDRA), the workshop addressed a variety of topics ranging from the evolving participatory democracy, stakeholders' identity, trust in institutional framework, to the role of open dialogue in all aspects of radioactive waste management and disposal. The meeting brought together government nominated participants as well as a considerable number of stakeholders, including academics, sociologists, representatives of mediation and review groups, and elected political representatives, to take stock of the experience of different national waste management programmes in the area of public perception and stakeholder confidence.
The strengthening of public participation, transparency and democratic accountability and, ultimately, policy effectiveness in member countries constitute major areas of the work of the OECD as a whole, and the timely interaction of this meeting with other OECD activities in the area of public management has been welcomed by the participants.
The Forum on Stakeholder Confidence will help the NEA meet its obligation to member countries to take up the challenges of understanding the needs of stakeholders and provide a neutral forum where the various actors can exchange information, identify working priorities and suggest best practices for decision-making in radioactive waste management and disposal.