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News Story, 14 December 2016
In its last meeting of 2016, EFSA’s Management Board focused on planning the Authority’s work for 2017 and beyond. It endorsed the multi-annual planning documents covering 2017-2020 as well as the annual work plan for 2017. The Board also adopted EFSA’s draft budget for 2017 of €79.2 million.
Board members considered progress made in the review of EFSA’s independence policy and an update on the implementation of EFSA’s new stakeholder engagement approach.
“This is the first time that EFSA has clearly aligned its multi-annual programme with its long-term strategy. The five overarching objectives of EFSA’s Strategy 2020 will guide the Authority’s work programmes in the coming years,” said Ms Jaana Husu-Kallio, the Chair of the Management Board. “This approach will ensure more clarity and consistency in the implementation of EFSA’s strategic and operational goals.”
Annual work plan 2017
The ambitious work plan for 2017 includes the continued implementation of multi-annual projects such as the Prometheus project on the use of evidence in scientific assessment, the MATRIX project to streamline the assessment of regulated products, and projects to further ease access to, and use of, EFSA’s treasure trove of data.
Many of the activities planned for 2017 will significantly advance risk assessment, these include the development of guidance on weight of evidence, on biological relevance in scientific assessment and on risk assessment of nanoparticles. EFSA will also develop advice on horizon scanning and surveillance to increase EU-wide preparedness for the identification of new plant pest outbreaks.
Cooperation will be a strong theme of EFSA’s work in 2017. EFSA will hold the presidency of the EU Agencies Network and take a lead role in improving effective relations among EU agencies. 2017 will also see the start of EFSA’s new fellowship programme to foster scientific cooperation with Member State partner organisations.
Review of independence policy: work initiated
The Management Board working group on the review of EFSA’s independence policy has started its activities. The Board considered the group’s initial reflections on issues such as definition of conflict of interest, research funding and cooling-off periods.
The review of the independence policy is a significant element of EFSA’s efforts to increase transparency, impartiality and cost-effectiveness in its scientific decision-making processes. The reviewed independence policy is expected to be endorsed in 2017.
New engagement approach: Stakeholder registration ongoing
The Board learned that to date some 75 stakeholders representing consumers, environmental and health NGOs, farmers, industry, distributors, practitioners and academia have already registered with EFSA under the new stakeholder engagement approach that was adopted in June 2016. In line with its Strategy 2020, EFSA is striving to increase transparency and public engagement in the scientific assessment process.
In early 2017, the first annual meeting of all registered stakeholders, the Stakeholder Forum, will take place in Parma. EFSA will also continue to use targeted mechanisms to involve stakeholders when addressing specific technical issues.
To access the documents linked to the Board Meeting, go to the News Item at: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/events/event/161214-0