EFSA maps out priorities for 2015 and beyond

EFSA has kicked off its extensive programme of scientific, communication and corporate activities planned for 2015. Key milestones this year will be the adoption of around 400 scientific outputs, the renewal of membership of eight of the Authority’s Scientific Panels and its Scientific Committee, and the hosting of the second EFSA scientific conference in Milan (part of the EU contribution to EXPO 2015).

EFSA will also be advancing a number of ambitious transformation projects covering the management of expertise, the handling of data and information, the development of new methodological approaches, and the open risk assessment initiative. Continued cooperation with partners and stakeholders will be central to the success of these projects and others on EFSA’s agenda for the coming months.  

Major scientific work includes opinions on acrylamide and caffeine, the revision of the EU plant pest annexes, and the launch of a multi-disciplinary project on the risk assessment of stressors in bees. In addition to the annual data monitoring reports – on zoonoses, food-borne outbreaks, antimicrobial resistance, and pesticide residues – a new report on chemicals in food will be published.

The annual work programme is part of EFSA’s Single Programming Document for 2015-2017, which maps out the Authority’s priorities for the coming years.

Bernhard Url, EFSA’s Executive Director, said: “This year will be another busy one for EFSA. This document explains how we plan to ensure that our expertise, methods and data continue to serve the needs of the European Union and its 500 million citizens, and keep EFSA at the cutting edge of scientific risk assessment of food.

“As well as ensuring the continued excellence of our core scientific activities, we want to further open up our work to wider scrutiny and engagement.  We want to build enduring synergies in the European food safety system that make best use of finite resources and allow all members of the European risk assessment community to share expertise and information.

“All this will be in vain unless EFSA’s work is trusted, and this will happen only if all the elements of our multiannual strategy are in place: objective, high-quality science, meaningful cooperation, transparent risk assessment and clear communication.”