EFSA, Scientific Cooperation and Focal PointsIlias PapatryfonScientific Cooperation Unit 1st National Conference of Bulgarian EFSA Focal Point 26 September 2008, Sofia
My presentation How does EFSA work? What is EFSA? Why Scientific Cooperation? What are Focal Points?
EFSA at a glance • Set up in January 2002 following a series of food crises (Regulation (EC) 178/2002 of 28 January 2002) • Fundamental change: separation of risk assessment and risk management
Why was EFSA created? Three reasons: To improve food safety in the EU To ensure a high level of consumer protection To restore and maintain consumer confidence in the EU food supply
What does EFSA do? Role to assess and communicate on all risks associated with the food chain • produce scientific opinions and advice to provide a sound foundation for European policies and legislation • support the European Commission, European Parliament and EU Member States to take effective and timely risk management decisions • communicate food and feed safety advice to principal clients, stakeholders and public at large
What is EFSA’s remit? “From farm to fork” • Food and feed safety; • Nutrition; • Animal health and welfare; • Plant protection and plant health… …these include, additives, contaminants, pesticides, GMO’s, new technologies such as cloning and nanotechnology, BSE, health claims, allergens…
What are EFSA’s core values? 4 core values for EFSA’s activities: • Openness and transparency • Excellence in science • Independence • Responsiveness EFSA’s aim: to beglobally recognised as the European reference body for risk assessment
How is EFSA organised? EFSA’s Bodies Management Board Advisory Forum Executive Directory and EFSA secretariat Scientific Committee and Panels
Management Board – its role • To ensure EFSA functions effectively and efficiently • To establish budget, agree work programmes and monitor implementation • To ensure EFSA stays within remit of Founding Regulation • To appoint Executive Director, Scientific Committee and Panels • To audit EFSA’s operations
Advisory Forum Composition • Representatives from national food safety authorities/bodies with role similar to EFSA • One representative per Member State, • European Commission as observer • Special invitees (accession countries, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland) • Main goals are of strategic nature.
EFSA’s Scientific Panels • Ten Scientific Panels • Independent scientists selected based on their proven scientific excellence • Mandatory commitment of independence • Declaration of Interest
Executive Director Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle • EU-wide call for applications • Appointed in July 2006 for 5 years • Legal representative of EFSA • Responsible for: • day-to-day management • defining and implementing work programme & budget priorities • all staff matters
EFSA Today • Based in Parma, Italy • 200 scientific experts in Scientific Committee & Panels • Many Working Groups involving hundreds of experts • Over 350 staff from 25 nationalities • Over 700 scientific outputs (opinions) + 1.600 applications • 11 Scientific Colloquia on key topics • Budget: €65.9 million for 2008
Working together EFSA’s partners: • European Commission; • European Parliament; • Member States (MS); • Stakeholders: (e.g. consumer groups, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), industry…)
EFSA aims to deliver the best science at the right time in the most appropriate manner Effective pooling of scientific excellence available in EU Member States is required Why Scientific Cooperation?
Why Scientific Cooperation ? Critical for: • Appropriate allocation of resources against priorities; • Better co-ordination of work programmes, to avoid duplication of activities; • Early identification and analysis of emergingrisks; • Increased coherence in scientific risk assessment and communications!
Milestones achieved so far… • Legal basis: Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002 (EFSA‘s founding Regulation); • Strategy for Cooperation and Networking (introducing the concept of Focal Points - December 2006); • Creation of Focal Points started in 2007; • Main goals are of operational nature!
National competent authorities & networks EFSA SCO FPs What are Focal Points? • Individual person or institution; • Established by Member States, nominated by Permanent Representations! interface
Facts & Figures of Focal Points Status on Focal Point agreements: • All 27 signed; • EEA/EFTAcountries invited tonominateFocal Points.
Role of Focal Points Focal Points support the Advisory Forum Member to: 1. Exchange scientific information; 2. Support Article 36 network andExpert Database; 3. Establish and maintain national networks; 4. Raise visibility of EFSA‘s scientific work in Member States.
Exchange scientific information “Information Exchange Platform” Aim: to support the exchange of scientific information between EFSA and MS; A working group has been set up under the Focal Point network to implement this platform.
Exchange scientific information • E.g. • Research results and scientific reviews; • Data collection and surveys; • National scientific opinions • and statements.
EFSA Scientific Colloquia 11th Colloquium: 22-23 May 2008, Tabiano (PR), Acrylamide carcinogenicity - New evidence in relation to dietary exposure 12th Colloquium: 4-5 December 2008, Rome, Important aspects of Risk Assessment of Campylobacter
Article 36 list Article 36 Article 36 of EFSA’s Founding Regulation states: EFSA“…shall promote the European networking of organisations operating in the fields within the Authority's mission.” List of competentorganisations established • These may undertake work on behalf of EFSA, e.g.: • data collection; • preparatory work for development of scientific opinions; • other scientific and technical support, e.g. on emerging issues and crisis situations.
Article 36 list Article 36 • In 2008 some 20 calls • Budget nearly 2.5 M€ • Example of signed grant agreement • Quantitative microbiological risk assessment on Salmonella in slaughter and breeder pigs; • Example open calls - See: http://www.efsa.eu.int/EFSA/efsa_locale-1178620753812_call_for_proposals.htm • Call for proposals - CFP/EFSA/CONTAM/2008/02: “Survey on use of veterinary medicinal products in third countries • Call for proposals - CFP/EFSA/AHAW/2008/04: Scientific reviews on Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever and Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease
Article 36 list EFSA has launched the procedure for updating the list: • 1st July 2008: launching of the procedure; • End of September 2008: timeline for receiving the new nominations from the Permanent Representations; • Compilation / assessment by EFSA; • Adoption by EFSA’s Management Board of the new nominations for the list.
The Expert Database: Background • Decision for setting up the database for external scientific experts taken by EFSA and EU Member States; • A key element in EFSA’s policy for the selection of scientific experts; • The database will also be available to all EU Member States who may use it to select experts for own scientific projects.
The Expert Database Disciplines EFSA is looking for a wide range of disciplines e.g. food and feed safety, nutrition, toxicology, chemistry and animal health & welfare, plant protection & plant health; Application process: Experts invited to fill in an on-line form and make a declaration of interests (in order to ensure their independence).
Expert Database: Selection When a scientific need is identified, EFSA makes a selection of most suitable experts to assist in its activities; Selected experts are invited to participate in certain scientific activities of EFSA or Member States; Experts will receive travel and subsistence expenses and an indemnity for their contribution to EFSA’s work.
EFSA’s is looking for: Scientific Committee and Panel members They will help EFSA deliver high-quality scientific advice for Europe’s risk managers To cover: Animal health and welfare Biological hazards including TSEs Contaminants in the food chain Dietetic products, allergies and nutrition Feedstuffs Food additives & nutrient sources* Food contact materials, enzymes, flavourings* GMOs Plant health Plant protection products Background • *New scientific panels for which new members are not currently being sought
Scientific Committee & Panel Members Open from 23 Oct till 7 Jan 2009 Experts contacted spring 2009 New Scientific Committee and Panel members meet and begin work summer 2009 Application process Fill in an online form on the EFSA website and make a declaration of interests (to ensure their independence)
Scientific Committee & Panel Members EFSA evaluates candidatesand draws up shortlist Management Board assesses shortlists and makes final decision about candidates Members are appointed: for 3 years, renewable through an open procedure based on proven scientific excellence Selection
EFSA Seminars: Join EFSA in assessing food safety risks in Europe! • 29 - 30 October 2008, Budapest, HUNGARYScientists mainly from: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary, Malta, Romania and Slovenia • 26 - 27 November 2008, Warsaw, POLANDScientists mainly from: Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovak Republic
Apply now! • Get involved with EFSA and… • Make a difference to European food safety • Deliver key advice to Europe’s risk managers • Be part of Europe’s network of top food safety scientists www.efsa.europa.eu
Increase EFSA’s visibility • Focal Points support: • To disseminate brochures and other information materials; • To organise information eventsat national level; • To develop and maintain special Focal Point websites.
Networking • Focal Points support in establishing and maintainingNational Networks in MS including: • Ministries and official authorities; • Scientific institutions; • Universities; • National stakeholders (e.g. NGOs, industry, consumer organisations).
Networking - looking ahead • Focal Points are building up networks! • With the help of such networks, Focal Points and EFSA will further improve the Scientific Cooperation between Member States and EFSA. • Advisory Forum will reviewthe Focal Points’ work at theend of the year.
Focal Points Thank you for your attention