EFSA statement about European Ombudsman decision

EFSA takes note of the recent conclusions of the European Ombudsman with regards to allegations made by Pesticides Action Network Europe about the independence of the Authority’s scientific panels and working groups.

The Ombudsman does not contest EFSA’s compliance with its decision-making process at the time but found that EFSA did not respond adequately to PAN Europe’s concerns about its scientific panels and working groups, which could have created the impression that there was a conflict of interest. In its decision the Ombudsman states: “It is important not only that there is good administration but also that, in the eyes of the citizens, good administration is seen to be done”

EFSA acknowledges the importance of public perception in relation to its independence and the need to be clear in explaining its actions in this key area. It will therefore analyse the Ombudsman findings in detail in the forthcoming weeks.

EFSA is fully committed to being open and transparent and is confident that its ongoing Transparency initiative will contribute to the goal of increasing trust in its decision-making. A draft version of EFSA’s Transparency Policy will be put out for public consultation in the coming months.