EFSA’s Executive Director takes up residence in Parma

As of today, Geoffrey Podger, Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), will be officially based in Parma, its official seat. Since spring 2004, when the Seat Agreement between EFSA and the Italian Government was signed, much progress has been made. The Authority is very grateful for the support received from the Italian authorities in facilitating its move to Parma. The arrival of Geoffrey Podger will provide further impetus for the development of EFSA’s activities.

By the end of January, 22 EFSA staff will already be based in Parma. The remainder of EFSA staff currently based in Brusselswill relocate progressively over the coming months in order to ensure the continuity of its scientific activities. New recruits will take up their functions directly in Parma. EFSA plans to complete its move by autumn 2005.

Commenting on EFSA’s move to Parma, Geoffrey Podger affirmed: “I am personally delighted to officially begin my work in this city today. We are very grateful to the Italian authorities, for their support in facilitating our move to Parma. A decision concerning EFSA’s permanent seat has been long awaited, in particular by EFSA staff. Our establishment will provide the Authority with the stable base it requires for the important expansion of its scientific activities. EFSA and its staff are looking forward enthusiastically to completing the move here and to enjoying the high standards and quality of life that Parmaand the surrounding areas offer”.

EFSA’s offices are currently located in the DUS building in the centre of Parma. In nine months time, work has been undertaken to adapt these provisional headquarters to EFSA’s needs and requirements. The DUS building will be able to accommodate 198 staff, thereby allowing the Authority to effectively pursue the development of its activities. When fully operational, the Authority will rely on the contribution of approximately 300 staff. Investigations are currently underway for a definitive seat for EFSA.

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