Keywords: Fundamental Rights; Theories of Governance; Emerging Technologies; Responsible Research and Innovation.
The governance of emerging technologies has to cope with challenges owed to the ineliminable state of uncertainty (scientific, regulatory, and moral) that precludes prompt action in enacting regulations and guaranteeing fundamental rights. Ronald Dworkin has distinguished policies by reference to goals, duties, and rights. We can accordingly ask whether a "rights-based" model can be successful in this field and what features it needs to have. Recently, "Responsible Research and Innovation" (RRI) has taken hold both among scholars and at the EU level. This model relies on public engagement and the integration of values in policymaking. At the heart of this model we thus find moral values that according to some scholars should coincide with EU goals, including the goal of protecting fundamental rights. This latter aspect would turn RRI into a rights-based model. Yet the balancing of fundamental rights with other competing interests is not problem-free. This article argues that some normative shortcomings created by the overall balancing of EU goals can be overcome by better integrating the EU with the system of human rights.