EFSA is asking its partners and stakeholders to help shape the Authority’s strategic direction for the next five years. The draft EFSA Strategy 2020 is open for public consultation for six weeks, during which time all interested parties – from politicians and policy-makers to scientists, food producers and consumers – are invited to comment on and contribute to the document.
Sue Davies, Chair of EFSA’s Management Board, said: “The EFSA Strategy 2020 will shape the Authority’s work over the next five years. It will help ensure that EFSA can anticipate and address the risks presented by an increasingly complex supply chain and contribute to a high level of consumer protection and trust.
“Enhancing transparency and stakeholder engagement will be essential to achieve this, from the development of mandates and throughout the risk assessment process. It is important that stakeholders respond to the consultation and contribute their views on how this can best be achieved.”
Dr. Bernhard Url, EFSA’s Executive Director, said: “Our work has a direct impact on the lives of millions of Europeans so it is essential that our strategy addresses their expectations. That is why we are carrying out this consultation.”
The document examines a number of emerging “drivers of change” that will directly influence the direction of EFSA’s work between now and 2020. These include: the continuing globalisation of food production and trade; the emergence of new risks and hazards that ask difficult questions of risk assessors and scientists; the evolution of scientific knowledge and proliferation of new sources of data; and expectations from society for public bodies to be more open in the way they work.
Taking into account these challenges and opportunities, the agency has developed five key strategic objectives to guide its future work:
- Prioritise public engagement in the process of scientific assessment.
- Widen EFSA’s evidence base and maximise access to its data.
- Build the EU’s scientific assessment capacity and knowledge community.
- Prepare for future risk assessment challenges.
- Create an environment and culture that reflects EFSA’s values.
Cooperation and openness will be crucial to the success of the new strategy, Dr. Url added. “We can take advantage of the coming opportunities only through concerted collective action across the European risk assessment community. This is why we are determined to build a more open, connected EFSA,” he said.
EFSA has also identified the initial practical steps that will be needed to turn these objectives into reality. These will also be reviewed following the consultation, and a detailed implementation plan will be developed, in close cooperation with our scientific partners and stakeholders.