Working together and exchanging expertise is an efficient way to harmonise risk assessment, maximise capacities and ensure best use of resources.
EFSA’s annual report on scientific cooperation illustrates how the Authority applied these principles to strengthen its partnership with European and international partners over the past year, under the umbrella of its Scientific Cooperation Roadmap 2014-2016. The roadmap was developed to move towards building a common risk assessment agenda, under which food safety key priorities are defined together by Member States and EFSA.
Member States increasingly take lead role
Member States continued taking the lead in setting priorities and steering activities through EFSA’s Advisory Forum. In that regard, the work of the Focal Points remains an essential factor in implementing many key projects at Member State level.
Last year also saw the continuation of increased collaboration among EU Member States. They proposed a number of joint scientific projects and identified partners to work with towards common goals in the coming years.
In an important move in September 2016, Member States reaffirmed their continued support for EFSA and its work. In a Declaration of Commitment they agreed a range of measures and activities that will ensure that EFSA and Advisory Forum members can together meet future challenges in the area of food safety and so protect European consumers.
Investing in capacity building
With increasing challenges and rapidly evolving scientific knowledge, it is important for EFSA to continuously invest in the building of scientific capacity. Consequently, last year EFSA launched the first European Food Risk Assessment Fellowship Programme. It offers a unique opportunity to EU scientists to increase their knowledge and experience in food safety risk assessment.
To find out more, read the full report on EFSA’s international scientific cooperation in 2016.