Agile, open, connected – EFSA in 2020

EFSA has mapped out a course for the next five years that will make it a stronger, agile organisation that is even more closely connected to its stakeholders and the public and which is equipped to answer the increasingly complex food–related questions of the modern age.

Launching the publication of the EFSA Strategy 2020, Bernhard Url, the Authority’s Executive Director, said: “EFSA’s mission is clear and unchanged: in cooperation with our wide range of stakeholders, we help to keep the European food chain as safe as possible. However, the environment in which we operate is changing rapidly and, in some cases, dramatically.

“The task for us is to make sure that we work in a way that takes full account of the challenges and full advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.

“We have thought long and hard about this strategy, and consulted widely among our partners and the public at large. The result is a document that gives us a clear idea of where we want to go and how we are going to get there.”

Drivers of change

The Strategy 2020 identifies a number of “drivers” that EFSA expects to significantly influence the direction its takes between now and 2020. These range from high-level issues such as public expectations of greater transparency and the impact of globalisation, to closer-to-home concerns such as how EFSA can become even more efficient and continue to attract scientific expertise at a time when resources are increasingly precious.

Strategic objectives

The document then outlines five strategic objectives that will frame the way EFSA responds to the expected challenges and opportunities. Over the next five years the Authority aims to:

  • prioritise public and stakeholder engagement in the process of scientific assessment;
  • widen its evidence base and optimise access to its data;
  • bolster 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.

Dr Url added: “We have ambitious goals, which we cannot meet acting alone. The enabling thread running through all our work will continue to be collaboration – with our European and international partners, with our sister agencies and with all the other players in the food safety chain. We will move forward together.”

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