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81st Management Board meeting: EFSA’s strategy 2027; General Food Law implementation; annual accounts and social science roadmap

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At its second meeting of the year, EFSA’s Management Board discussed the Authority’s progress towards its new strategy 2021-2027; took note of EFSA’s preparations to implement new provisions under the recently revised General Food Law; gave a favourable opinion on the final accounts for the financial year 2018; and heard about EFSA’s planned activities in the field of social science.

EFSA strategy 2021-2027

EFSA’s current Strategy 2020 will soon come to an end. EFSA has taken stock of the developments and trends in its external environment that may inform its new Strategy 2021-2027. The Management Board reviewed the outcome of the environmental scanning exercise with a focus on the critical external challenges and opportunities that the Authority will face in the future and how well placed it is to respond to them.

The discussion will frame the next step of the process and the drafting of Strategic Directions, which will be presented to the Board in December 2019. The final strategy is due to be adopted in June 2020.

Preparedness to implement changes to the General Food Law

By the first quarter of 2021, EFSA will have to implement new provisions set out in the EU’s recently revised General Food Law. EFSA informed the Management Board of its preparations, which can be broken down into four priority areas: transparency and confidentiality; scientific value; engagement and risk communication; and governance.

Jaana Husu-Kallio, Chair of the Management Board, said: “The changes to the EU food safety system brought about by the updated legislation are very welcome. The plans presented today show the true scale and complexity of the implementation of the changes. The Management Board stresses the importance of providing EFSA with sufficient resources to prepare for the changes it must make over the next two years.”

Bernhard Url, EFSA’s Executive Director, said: "It’s a big opportunity for EFSA and we hope that the foreseen resources will be allocated to support us in the process. Managing expectations is also an important aspect and the General Food Law review and its implementation will have to be a step by step process. I look forward to providing regular updates to the Management Board on our progress.”

Green light to 2018 financial accounts

The Board gave a positive opinion on EFSA’s 2018 financial accounts. Mrs. Husu-Kallio said: “The approval of the annual financial accounts is a crucial responsibility for the Management Board. I am very pleased with the work done by EFSA to deserve a clean opinion from the European Court of Auditors.”

The Management Board’s opinion will now be sent, together with the final accounts, to the European Commission, the European Court of Auditors, the European Parliament and the Council, as required under EFSA’s Financial Regulation.

Social Science roadmap

The Management Board took note of EFSA plans for social science over the coming years. EFSA’s roadmap outlines the potential application of social science methods to inform risk communications and to support the process of regulatory science.

Mr. Url said: “Recent experience has shown us that a solid understanding of risk perception is crucial if we are to communicate effectively with our partners and meet societal expectations in the area of food safety. It will also guide us in determining how and when to engage with interested parties about our scientific advice.”

The social science roadmap is adapted to EFSA’s strategic planning cycle and will be implemented in a phased approach. The initial phase (2019-2020) will be dedicated to building a function that provides advice to processes across the organisation based on evidence from social research and which promotes cooperation in the area of social sciences with partner organisations.

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EFSA Media Relations Office
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Audiocast and documents


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  1. Welcome by the Chair
  2. Adoption of the agenda
  3. Board members’ Annual and Oral Declarations of Interest
  4. EFSA Performance Report
  5. Update from the Scientific Committee
  6. EFSA Strategy 2027 – preparatory work
  7. Preparedness to implement the revised General Food Law
  8. Accounts 2018 financial year
  9. Revised Framework Financial Regulation
  10. EFSA budget
  11. Art. 25 of Reg. 2018/1725 (Data Protection in EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies)
  12. EFSA social science roadmap
  13. Amendments to Art. 36 list
  14. Feedback from the Audit Committee
  15. AoB