EFSA engages with its stakeholders in defining its new policy on Independence and Scientific Decision-Making Processes

On the eve of a 150 delegate meeting in Brussels, dedicated to discussing independence and scientific decision-making processes, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) looks forward to engaging in a significant debate that will address fundamental societal issues related to science today, such as:

  • Does an interest in science necessarily imply a conflict of interest?
  • How can Europe foster scientific innovation through public and private initiatives, while respecting the need for public authorities to deliver independent scientific advice?
  • How can EFSA better engage with its stakeholders in the scientific decision-making process?
  • How can EFSA’s organisational and scientific governance be improved through the collaborative input from its partners and stakeholders?

Explaining the rationale for the stakeholder event, EFSA’s Executive Director Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, outlines “This debate is larger than EFSA but as a key EU provider of independent scientific advice, we recognise the need for these discussions and have taken the initiative to organise this event. It will give EFSA’s stakeholders a valuable opportunity to contribute to shaping our future policy on independence and scientific decision-making.

The programme for the morning session of the workshop will include a roundtable discussion on general issues related to independence and trust in science, such as managing conflicts of interest in public organisations and public engagement and confidence in science. The panel will include speakers with both academic and public-sector backgrounds, including a Member of the European Parliament.

The afternoon’s proceedings will comprise interactive sessions with key contributors to the online public consultation. To ensure a balanced debate, opinions from civil society groups, industry, Member States and academia will be explored in more detail, while audience members will be encouraged to engage in the discussions. John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, will close the meeting.

EFSA will provide a live webcast of the meeting via its website.

Media contacts