80th Management Board meeting: Annual report 2018; General Food Law reform; Brexit update
At its first meeting of 2019, EFSA’s Management Board adopted EFSA’s activity report for 2018, heard from the European Commission on the provisional political agreement to reform the General Food Law, and took note of EFSA’s preparations for Brexit.
EFSA activity report 2018
The Board adopted EFSA’s activity report for its work in 2018 including EFSA’s progress made across all key strategic objectives set out in the EFSA Strategy 2020.
Beyond the delivery of around 700 scientific outputs, EFSA’s wide-ranging activities in 2018 included the organisation of an international scientific conference, attracting around 1,800 researchers, risk assessors, social scientists, risk managers and stakeholders from all over the world both on site in Parma and online.
The Management Board praised EFSA’s achievements in risk assessment and welcomed the great efforts made to provide risk managers with fit for purpose, timely and independent scientific advice and its communication activities. The Board also commended the significant increase in downloads and citations of EFSA outputs from the EFSA Journal.
Among EFSA’s scientific activities in 2018, Members highlighted EFSA’s work on preparedness in the field of animal health including the establishment of an automated and harmonised data collection system for animal disease and surveillance.
They also underlined the important assistance provided to the European Commission and Member States through rapid outbreak assessments such as the Listeria assessment on frozen corn provided in collaboration with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
General Food Law reform
Members of the Board heard from the European Commission on the provisional political agreement to reform the General Food Law, under which EFSA was created as an independent EU agency responsible for scientific advice on risks associated with the agri-food chain.
The agreement, after a proposal by the European Commission, includes a number of important changes, particularly in the areas of governance, transparency of data, and risk communication. The agreement is now awaiting final ratification from the legislators before it passes into law.
Management Board Chair Jaana Husu-Kallio commented: “We warmly welcome the amendments proposed to the General Food Law, which contain far-reaching and forward-looking measures that will strengthen EFSA and make its science even more open and robust. It is now essential that these measures are accompanied by adequate resources, as envisaged in the proposal, to allow EFSA to implement its new tasks”.
EFSA’s Management Board noted ongoing uncertainty around the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union. The Board were updated on the Authority’s preparations for Brexit in areas such as regulated products, data collection, and grants and procurements, including the consideration of a scenario in a case where no Withdrawal Agreement is ratified.
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Audiocast and documents
- Welcome by the Chair
- Adoption of the agenda
- Board members’ Annual and Oral Declarations of Interest
- EFSA Activity Report 2018
- Update from the Scientific Committee
- Revision of EFSA’s Founding Regulation
- BREXIT impact on EFSA
- Replacement of a Scientific Committee member
- Revision of the EFSA budget 2019
- Implementing rules of staff regulations
- Amendments to Art. 36 list
- Feedback from the Audit Committee