EFSA Management Board elects new chair, discusses external evaluation

Posted: 18 October 2012 | EFSA | No comments yet

Members of the European Food Safety Authority’s Management Board have elected a new chair and two vice-chairs…

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Members of the European Food Safety Authority’s Management Board have elected a new chair and two vice-chairs, and began deliberations on the findings and recommendations of EFSA’s second independent external evaluation.

The Board unanimously elected Sue Davies as chair and Marianne Elvander and Piergiuseppe Facelli as Vice Chairs for two-year terms. It was the first time EFSA’s Management Board chair and vice chairs were elected in open session.

Four new members joined the Management Board for their first meeting after being appointed in June by the Council of the European Union and three others were re-appointed.[1] The appointments were made following an open call for expressions of interest and were based on a list of candidates submitted by the European Commission following consultation with the European Parliament.

“It is an amazing honour to be elected Chair of EFSA’s Management Board,” Ms Davies said.

“Ten years on since EFSA was established, the Board will have an important role in ensuring that the Authority builds on its excellent work and is able to respond effectively to the challenges facing the food chain and therefore consumers in the coming years. Taking forward the recommendations in the external evaluation will be key,” she added,

Board will review recommendations in December

Board members discussed the external evaluation, by international consultants Ernst & Young, which notes the high quality of EFSA’s scientific outputs and risk communication activities. It also highlights the Authority’s culture of transparency and robust systems in place to ensure the impartiality of its scientific advice. The review also makes a number of recommendations on how EFSA can further improve its performance.

Article 61 of EFSA’s Founding Regulation stipulates that the Authority must commission an independent external evaluation of its achievements to assess the working practices and impact of EFSA’s work.

In formulating its recommendations based on the external evaluation, the Board will take into consideration the views of EFSA’s Scientific Committee, Member State representation on its Advisory Board, and of EFSA’s staff. The report is also being discussed among all of EFSA’s key partners and stakeholders, including the European Commission and the European Parliament.

The Board will review its recommendations, which will contribute to EFSA’s future management plans and strategies, at its next meeting in December.

During the meeting, EFSA Executive Director Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle pointed out a joint declaration by national competent food authorities in Europe issued recently to mark the 10th anniversary of the creation of EFSA, and which reaffirmed their endorsement of the valuable work EFSA has carried out to improve consumer safety since 2002. The authorities re-stated their commitment to safeguarding the role of scientific experts and organisations as trusted, independent sources of advice.

Board members also referred to a recent review by the European Court of Auditors of the management of conflicts of interest in four independent EU agencies, which pointed out that EFSA is applying some of the most advanced policies and procedures for declaring, assessing and managing potential conflicts of interest. The Court made a number of recommendations, many of which are already integrated in EFSA’s working processes. EFSA will be carefully examining any recommendations which may remain outstanding.

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