Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, Executive Director of EFSA, resigns to take up post in French public service

Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), today announced that she is resigning to take up a new post as Director General for agricultural, agri-food and territorial policies in the French Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry on 1 September 2013.

Sue Davies, Chair of EFSA’s Management Board said “On behalf of the Management Board, I would like to thank Catherine for the enormous contribution she has made to EFSA’s work over the last seven years. During this period EFSA has developed significantly, producing thousands of high quality opinions to help ensure that European consumers have safe food to eat. Catherine has also been very committed to improving EFSA’s efficiency and enhancing its processes to ensure that it operates openly, transparently and independently. I am therefore very sorry that Catherine will be leaving, but wish her every success in her new post.

“The Management Board’s priority is now to ensure business continuity and to limit any disruption for EFSA’s staff, experts and outputs. I am pleased that Bernhard Url, who is responsible for EFSA’s Risk Assessment and Scientific Assistance Directorate and has been designated  as deputising,  will lead the organisation until the Management Board appoints an ad interim Executive Director at its October meeting.

 In the meantime, the European Commission will initiate the process for recruitment of a new permanent Executive Director.”

Commenting on her appointment today, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle said:  “I would like to thank EFSA staff and our scientific experts who, through their work, contribute each day to strengthen food safety in Europe. I would like to express my thanks to Commissioner Borg  for his constant availability and to Mrs Testori-Coggi, Director General of the  European Commission Health and Consumers Directorate General (DG SANCO) and to her services for their constant support over these last seven years. I would also like to express my gratitude to the members of the European Parliament, in particular the members of the ENVI Committee. With the precious support of the EFSA Management Board, our close co-operation with national food safety agencies and our engagement with stakeholders, we have made important progress in protecting consumers and building confidence in the EU food chain. In leaving EFSA, I am pleased that my new function will allow me to continue to contribute to the European project.”

Notes to editors

Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle has been EFSA’s Executive Director since July 2006. She was appointed by the EFSA Management Board following an open competition across the European Union for a five-year mandate which was renewed on 1 July 2011. Ms. Geslain-Lanéelle has held several positions of responsibility in the food sector, both in France and at EU/international levels including serving as Director General for Food within the French Agricultural Ministry at the height of the BSE crisis. The European Commission will launch an open competition for renewal of the post of Executive Director at EFSA. The Executive Director is appointed by the EFSA Management Board on the basis of a list of candidates proposed by the European Commission and following a hearing in the European Parliament.

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