72nd Management Board meeting: Board nominates experts for two Scientific Panels, endorses draft independence policy for public consultation and prepares for third external evaluation
Members of the European Food Safety Authority’s Management Board approved the nomination of experts for two of EFSA’s Scientific Panels and ratified changes to the way the Scientific Committee and Scientific Panels will operate from June this year. The Board endorsed EFSA’s draft independence policy for public consultation, discussed the Authority’s work plan for international scientific cooperation and approved the terms of reference for the third external evaluation.
Renewal of Scientific Panels
The Management Board approved the nomination of 42 scientific experts to re-establish two of EFSA’s Scientific Panels: the Scientific Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food (ANS) and the Scientific Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids CEF).
Over 200 experts from 39 countries responded to the call and candidates were selected for nomination based on the scientific expertise required for the respective panel. The new term will commence on 1 July 2017. The remits of the ANS and CEF Panels will change in July 2018 and therefore their term will end on 30 June 2018.
Scientific Committee and Scientific Panels: upcoming operational changes
In preparation for the 2018 renewals, the Board endorsed changes to the way EFSA’s Scientific Committee, its Scientific Panels and Working Groups are established and operate. The amendments include the following:
- The number of Scientific Panel members can range from 15 to 25.
- An expert can serve a maximum of three terms on the same Scientific Panel.
- An expert can serve a maximum of two terms as Chair of the same Scientific Panel or in the Scientific Committee.
- Experts taking part in the adoption of a scientific output need to express their views either for or against it.
Public consultation on draft independence policy
Members of the Management Board endorsed a review of EFSA’s policy on independence for a public consultation which will be launched in the following weeks. The review was carried out by a working group set up by the Board in October 2016 and focused on the definition of conflict of interest; the identification of financial or economic interests; a risk based approach for competing interest management; the evaluation of research funding and scientific activities; and cooling-off periods. The new EFSA policy is expected to be in place by summer 2017.
Board approves framework for third external evaluation
With its approval of the respective terms of references, the Board started the third independent external evaluation of EFSA. Under Article 61 of its Founding Regulation, EFSA is obliged to commission an external evaluation of its achievements every six years. This independent review assesses working practices and the overall impact of the Authority. The review covers the period 2011-2016 and takes into account the views of stakeholders at European and national level. EFSA’s Management Board subsequently makes recommendations to the European Commission regarding any possible changes to the Authority and its working practices. EFSA will launch the call for tender at the end of March.
EFSA informed Board Members about taking over the chairmanship of the EU Network of Agencies (EUAN) on 2 March 2017. This is the second time EFSA has coordinated the network’s activities. For the next year, EFSA will steer activities of the network to show how agencies serve citizens by contributing to EU policies and increasing their efficiency.
EFSA also presented Board members with its new work plan for international scientific cooperation until 2020. The Board took note of EFSA’s envisaged gradual shift from bilateral to multilateral cooperation with stronger involvement of Member State agencies and international organisations.
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Audiocast and documents
- Welcome by the Chair
- Adoption of the agenda
- Board members’ ADoIs and ODoIs
- Activity report 2016
- Update from the Scientific Committee
- Renewal of ANS and CEF Scientific Panels
- Establishment and operations of the SC, SPs and their WGs
- EFSA independence policy review
- EFSA international scientific cooperation
- Terms of Reference of EFSA’s external evaluation
- EFSA chairmanship of the EU Agencies network
- Amendments to Art. 36 list
- Feedback from the Audit Committee