EFSA Board looks at latest developments and move to Parma

A number of important developments were discussed at today’s meeting of the European Food Safety Authority’s Management Board. These included a look at the Authority’s move to Parma, public access to future Board meetings and the 2004 work programme and budget.

"This was another landmark meeting,” said EFSA Management Board chairman, Stuart Slorach. “The Board is delighted that EFSA now has a permanent home in Parma. We can now move forward with the planning of our move and full establishment of the Authority in Italy. We welcome the European Parliament’s approval of our 2004 budget which will allow us to implement the ambitious work programme set out in the Authority’s management plan. We also agreed today to put in place procedures to enable members of the public to attend future Board meetings, thereby increasing transparency and bringing the Authority closer to the citizens of Europe.”

Background

The 12th meeting of the Management Board of the European Food Safety Authority took place on 20th January in Brussels. It was the first meeting since the Council of the European Union decided, on 13th December, that the permanent location of EFSA would be Parma, Italy. The Executive Director who visited Parma on 16th January informed the Board today of his intention to relocate EFSA as quickly as possible – and no later than 2005 - while ensuring no interruption in the Authority’s important activities relative to risk assessment and risk communications.

In a follow-up discussion on the results of the meeting with EFSA’s consumer and industrial representative stakeholders in Ostendin October, it was agreed that meetings of the Board would be open to the public from March. Therefore, the first meeting with public access will take place in Dublinon 10th March 2004with advanced notice given through the Authority’s web site.

EFSA’s Management Plan for 2004 was further considered by the Board and will be submitted for adoption by written procedure. This includes: the overview and objectives for the year; the areas of growth; the Establishment Plan; the scientific, communication and other work programmes and; a summary of the legislation which may affect the Authority. The European Parliament’s approval on 18th December of a budget of €28.9m for EFSA will allow the Authority to proceed with its plans with the security of knowing that funding is in place.

The Management Plan and all other public documents can be found on the Authority’s website.