Third external evaluation of EFSA – progress made, recommendations for improvement

EFSA has published the third external evaluation of its activities, covering the period from 2011 to 2016, assessing progress made in implementing previous recommendations and highlighting further areas for improvement. Based on the findings of the report, EFSA’s Management Board will adopt a series of recommendations at their meeting in October.

The independent evaluation, which is carried out every six years by an external contractor, assesses the Authority’s activities in its different fields of scientific, communication and engagement work in terms of efficiency, complementarity with other risk assessors and added value to the EU.

The evaluation process is part of the Regulation established in 2002, under which EFSA was created as an independent EU agency responsible for scientific advice on risks associated with the agri-food chain.

The report’s conclusions are based on the results of a review of data collected, in-depth case studies, stakeholder interviews and an online survey.

Among the areas of progress noted in the report, the evaluators welcomed EFSA’s new mechanisms for engagement with stakeholders, initiatives in the field of access to data and a strengthened independence policy. EFSA’s cooperation with Member State authorities and other risk assessors at the international level was also welcomed.

Recommendations for improvement relate to EFSA’s mechanisms for prioritising resources, the economic viability of the system for recruiting experts and tailoring its communication outputs more closely to the needs of different audiences.

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