70th Management Board meeting: Board elects new chair, endorses independence policy review plan, discusses open data and EFSA Journal migration

5 October 2016

Audiocast and documents

Members of the European Food Safety Authority’s Management Board have elected a new chair and two vice-chairs. The Board endorsed the proposal for the review of EFSA’s policy on independence, appraised the progress made in opening up scientific risk assessment data for public access and heard about the benefits of the EFSA Journal’s migration to a new scientific publishing platform.

The Board unanimously elected Ms Jana Husu-Kallio as chair for two years. It elected Mr Robert van Gorcom and Mr Raymond O’Rourke as vice-chairs. In addition, the Board nominated András Székács as chair and Andrej Simončič as vice-chair of the Audit Committee. Five new members attended the Management Board meeting for the first time after being appointed to serve a four-year term by the Council of the European Union on 16 June 2016. Two Board members were re-appointed. [1]

“It is a great honour to be elected Chair of EFSA’s Management Board”, Ms Husu-Kallio said after her election. “The Board will continue to ensure that the Authority carries out its important work of making sure that food for Europe’s citizens is safe. Our role is to provide the best possible framework to support EFSA in its endeavour to anticipate and respond to ever more complex risks and challenges in the field of food safety.”

Independence policy: Board endorsed way forward

The Board endorsed EFSA’s timeline, working methods and main subjects for the review of its policy on independence. Independence is a key value guiding EFSA’s work and will underpin the implementation of its 2020 Strategy. In full alignment with the Strategy’s vision and objectives, the review of the independence policy aims at increased transparency, impartiality and cost effectiveness in the Authority’s scientific and administrative decision-making processes.

Key topics to be addressed include the definition of a conflict of interests; the identification of financial and economic interests; the evaluation of research funding and scientific activities; and the implementation of cooling off periods.

Under the guidance of Board working group, EFSA will present a detailed proposal for a reviewed policy on independence to the Board at its meeting in March 2017.

Increased public access to risk assessment data

Public access to data is a key element of EFSA’s drive towards openness and transparency, and an indispensable building block of the EFSA 2020 Strategy. Board members heard about current activities at EFSA to continually increase public access to the Authority’s scientific risk assessment data.

The data warehouse, which was launched in 2015, provides open access to EFSA’s treasure trove of data on food consumption, contaminants and botanicals. By the end of the year, the warehouse will be expanded to include data on pesticide residues, zoonoses, food composition and chemical hazards.

Looking ahead, EFSA will tackle outstanding challenges such as the protection of commercially sensitive data, the publication of raw data and the linkage of EFSA outputs with the underpinning data sources.

EFSA Journal: benefits of professional publishing already evident

Board Members learned that the advantages of moving EFSA’s flagship scientific publication, the EFSA Journal, to the professional publisher (Wiley) in April 2016 are already becoming evident. Wiley provides EFSA with an integrated publishing solution for its scientific work and supports the Authority’s strive for more openness and engagement.

EFSA benefits from increased editorial consistency, organisational efficiency, and improved data visualisation and interoperability. Other benefits include higher visibility of EFSA’s work in the food science and life science communities, enhanced citation linkage, wider outreach through social media networks and an informative impact assessment.

[1] The five new members of EFSA’s Management Board are: Aivars Bērziņš (Latvia), Zita Čeponytė (Lithuania), Didier Houssin (France), Giuseppe Ruocco (Italy) and Andrej Simončič (Slovenia). Two members were re-appointed to the Board: Jaana Husu-Kallio (Finland) and Michael Winter (Germany). 

For media enquiries please contact:
EFSA Media Relations Office
Tel.: +39 0521 036 149
E-mail: Press [at] efsa.europa.eu

Audiocast and documents

  1. Opening of the meeting by the European Commission 
  2. Board members’ Declaration of Interests
  3. Election of the Chair and Vice-Chairs of the Management Board
  4. Nomination of the Chair and Members of the Audit Committee
  5. Adoption of the agenda
  6. EFSA progress report
  7. Open Data
  8. EFSA independence policy
  9. Revised operational procedures of the Advisory Forum
  10. Implementing Rules of Staff Regulations
  11. Update on the procedure for the renewal of the ANS and CEF Scientific Panels
  12. EFSA Journal
  13. Amendments to Art. 36 list of organisations
  14. Feedback from the Audit Committee
  15. EFSA’s budget:
  16. 2016 budget execution and transfers
  17. AoB