European Food Safety Authority Board adopts budget under protest

Dr Stuart Slorach, Chair of the Board, said : ‘It must be recognised that this decision has been taken for procedural reasons only. This will enable the sum presently proposed by the European Parliament to be made available to us, so that we can cover the costs incurred by the Authority from 1st January 2003. The truth is that the Board considers that this budget is insufficient to properly discharge the Authority’s responsibilities as described in Regulation 178/2002. Therefore, the Board has requested that the Parliament exercises its responsibility for food safety by restoring the full budget of €16,493,423. This will ensure that the Authority will develop as quickly as possible during 2003 and, only under this scenario, will it be able to effectively serve the interests of European consumers, the food industry, the agricultural sector and other key interests.’

The European Parliament will take a final decision on the budget by 19th December 2002 at the latest.