Commission adopts short list of candidates for the Management Board

Commissioner Byrne said today: “I am determined to ensure that the momentum we have created on food safety continues and this is why the Commission is forging ahead with the practical developmental tasks needed to make the European Food Safety Authority operational as soon as possible. In publishing the short list for the Board today we hope that the Council and the European Parliament will play their part and ensure that the final selection procedure for the Board members is carried out with due dispatch”.

The European Food Safety Authority, due to be operational in 2002, is a major component of the legal and organisational reforms initiated by Commissioner Byrne.  A Management Board and an Executive Director have to be in place in order for the new European Food Safety Authority to be able to function. The short list published today is the result of a widely publicised call for interested candidates to come forward carried out by the Commission.

Applications from candidates from all over Europe were subjected to an in-depth systematic evaluation of their excellence, skills, experience and competencies which will be vital to enable them to guide the new European Food Safety Authority. The evaluation was undertaken by the Commission with the objective of finding a mixture  of complementary leadership skills in public administration, scientific institutions, consumer organisations and an in-depth understanding of the different parts of the food supply chain. Included on the short list of 30 are many internationally renowned food safety experts, managers, scientists and those whose credentials will enable the Board to guide the new Authority especially during its important early days. The short list has been forwarded to the Council and the European Parliament. Those who have a background in organisations representing consumers and other interests in the food supply chain are specifically identified on the short list from which 4 will be selected by the Council in line with the provisions of the founding Regulation. The European Parliament has a maximum of 3 months to consider the candidates and to makes its views on them available to the Council. From the list, the Council will chose 14 members. Once selected the term of office for each member is 4 years, which may be renewed once. In addition to the 14 members selected in this way, the Commission also has a representative on the Board. The Board will be responsible for ensuring that the EFSA carries out its tasks and missions efficiently, for adopting the practical internal rules of the Authority, appointing the Executive Director and members of the Scientific Committee and Panels of the Authority, for approving the Authority’s work programme and considering budgetary matters.

In addition to the adoption of the short list of candidates for membership of the Management Board, the founding Regulation requires the Commission to put together a short list of suitable candidates for the post of Executive Director of the Authority. In fact one of the first tasks of the Management Board will be to select an Executive Director on the basis of this list thus making it possible for the Authority to commence its operations.