EFSA and the European Commission initiated closer cooperation with European Neighbourhood Policy countries
The European Food Safety Authority hosted a seminar on food safety for the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) countries on 1 and 2 July, together with the European Commission (DG SANCO, DG RELEX and DG Enlargement). The two-day meeting, held in Brussels, was a first step in building closer cooperation in this area with Mediterranean and Eastern European countries bordering the European Union.
The seminar provided a valuable platform to outline EFSA’s role in the EU food system and to gain insight into the priorities of the ENP countries. EFSA was represented by Prof. Diána Bánáti, Chair of the Management Board, and Hubert Deluyker, Director of Scientific Cooperation and Assistance.
As increasingly globalised food trade exposes European consumers to global food safety challenges EFSA considers international cooperation programs to be particularly important. In addition to close cooperation with the EU Member States EFSA is already working with the pre-accession countries. Through the EU’s pre-accession programmes EFSA has gained experience in supporting building risk assessment capacity in candidate (Turkey, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ) and pre-candidate countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo UNSCR 1244 and Serbia).
EFSA hopes to establish a similar level of cooperation with ENP countries. The Brussels seminar was the first event EFSA has arranged in cooperation with DG SANCO and EFSA. DG SANCO plans to arrange two follow-up events in 2010, one for the Eastern and the other for the Mediterranean countries bordering the European Union.