This working document of the services of the European Commission of which Dr. Rene von Schomberg is the author, reflects upon the difficulties of developing ethical frameworks for (new) technologies in the context of an ethics of responsibility. The principle shortcomings of contemporary ethical theory with regard to the challenges of scientific and technological development are discussed. A case is made for the need of an ethics of collective co-responsibility. Such an ethics should focus on the ethics of knowledge assessment and knowledge policy in the framework of deliberative procedures, rather than on the ethics of technologies as such. Furthermore, the document tries to identify the deliberative procedures and processes in the science-society interface in which ethical issues concerning new technologies are discussed. The documents ends with a preliminary and descriptive overview of how currently the issue of nanotechnology is addressed in deliberative frameworks at the European Level.