EFSA opens up scientific meetings to Observers in pilot project
The European Food Safety Authority (ESFA) is today launching a pilot project allowing Observers to attend some meetings of its Scientific Committee and a number of its Scientific Panels. Underpinning EFSA’s commitment to openness and transparency, the pilot phase aims to promote better understanding of how scientific risk assessment works at EFSA and to provide a new opportunity for interaction with EFSA’s scientific experts.
Currently, the following meetings are scheduled for inclusion in the pilot phase:
- Panel on Plant Health, 21 March 2012 (Deadline for registration 16 March)
- Scientific Committee, 17-18 April 2012 (Deadline for registration 23 March)
- Panel on Biological Hazards, 18-19 April 2012 (Deadline for registration 23 March)
- Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues, 18-19 April 2012 (Deadline for registration 23 March)
One of the keys to an organisation’s independence is its openness and transparency, both regarding its decision-making and its approach to explaining how it works. Taking account of feedback from target audience research, EFSA recognises that stakeholders want to better understand the risk assessment process. If advice and action in relation to food safety risks are to be trusted, it is crucial that the way these decisions are made can be scrutinised and understood.
To further enhance the transparency of the risk assessment process, EFSA has committed to opening up its scientific meetings in line with its new Policy on Independence and Scientific Decision-Making Processes and the recommendations of its Stakeholder Consultative Platform.
Substantial information is already publicly available on EFSA’s website on scientific risk assessment, Panel roles, membership, competencies, functioning, declarations of interests and meetings. The Register of Questions also allows interested parties to follow the risk assessment process from start to finish. By providing the opportunity for interested parties to observe Panel meetings in action, how scientific opinions are developed and how various points of view are debated by experts, EFSA aims to build further confidence in the risk assessment process and in its own scientific work and outputs.
Those interested in being an Observer at one of the scientific meetings, should consult the information about how to register: