Working together on food safety: EFSA’s 2015 annual report on scientific cooperation
Cooperation is a key value of EFSA’s work. This annual report reflects how scientific cooperation efforts in 2015 have strengthened collaboration with EFSA’s partners and improved the timely sharing of information, expertise and knowledge with the ultimate goal of protecting the health of European consumers. Last year saw significant progress in increasing the effectiveness of collaboration among EU Member States. EFSA’s Advisory Forum took a central role in shaping this cooperation, reviewing its operations with a view to boosting scientific risk assessment in Europe. As part of its efforts towards setting up an EU Risk Assessment Agenda, the Authority commissioned a Delphi study to identify the key priorities of Member States in the area of food safety in the coming years. Member States increasingly play a leading role in steering activities and identifying topics of interest for joint scientific projects among themselves and with EFSA. The work of the Focal Points in support of their Advisory Forum members was critical to cooperation activities, supporting the implementation of many projects at Member State level. The launch of thematic grants, promoted by Focal Points, is an example of EFSA’s efforts to facilitate scientific cooperation in the EU through innovative networking projects. EFSA continues to address scientific issues of common concern with EU sister agencies and the European Commission. But scientific cooperation goes well beyond Europe. EFSA engages with international partners who share common goals and challenges. This is illustrated by its engagement with EU neighbourhood and pre-accession countries as well as farther afield with partner organisations around the world.