2004 will be a critical year for the growth of the European Food Safety Authority. Having established itself as an independent European Agency during 2003, the Authority will build capacity in all areas of competence so as to deliver its mandate and meet the expectations of European and national institutions, stakeholders and the public at large. Most importantly the Authority will be preparing its move to Parma in Italy during 2004. It is not clear yet, at the beginning of 2004, how the detail of this move will unfold and in particular when it will be completed. It is clear however that there will be significant planning, personnel and logistical issues to address both in-house, with the scientific panels and Committee members, Management Board and the Italian Authorities.