EU Commissioner Andriukaitis: EFSA’s scientific advice highly valued in Europe and across the world
“Food safety standards in Europe are the highest in the world,” Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said today. The Commissioner was paying his first visit to EFSA’s premises in Parma, Italy, to learn more at first-hand about the Authority’s work, its achievements and future challenges.
“EFSA’s science-based assessments on food safety are not only a crucial contribution to public health in the EU. They are appreciated around the world in many countries and international organisations,” he added.
Commissioner Andriukaitis met with the Chair of EFSA’s Management Board Sue Davies, EFSA’s Executive Director Bernhard Url and members of EFSA’s Management Team to discuss the Authority’s Strategy 2020, its operational framework and its interaction with external stakeholders.
Commissioner Andriukaitis expressed satisfaction at the standard of cooperation between the European Commission and EFSA, but asked how this relationship between risk assessors and risk managers could be improved further.
Transparency and engagement in the scientific risk assessment process was one of the key points of the Commissioner’s exchange with EFSA. Topics included the selection of experts, latest improvements to EFSA’s independence policy, the need to attract young talent to the pool of scientific experts, the collection of and open access to data, and the importance of public engagement in the development of EFSA’s scientific opinions.
The Commissioner also stressed the role of risk communication as a prerequisite for gaining and maintaining trust in science.
In a town-hall meeting with EFSA staff, Commissioner Andriukaitis extended his gratitude on behalf of European citizens. “You are those who preserve Europe’s high food safety standards,” he said.