Webinar on EFSA Guidance for public access to documents applicants
EFSA has automated the processing of public access to documents (PAD) applications, using its Connect.EFSA platform. Any individual can now submit PAD applications via Connect.EFSA by selecting the online form “public access to documents” in the section “Area” or via the functional mailbox at EFSA.public.access.to.documents [at] efsa.europa.eu (EFSA[dot]public[dot]access[dot]to[dot]documents[at]efsa[dot]europa[dot]eu). In addition, EFSA has drafted a Guidance document for PAD applicants to better serve requesters and aid their understanding of the process.
The webinar had the following objectives:
- Present the Guidance document for PAD applicants, explaining how it serves when engaging with PAD applicants and gives practical support to consider when submitting PAD applications.
- Provide an overview of how EFSA handles PAD applications, with a special focus on guiding the public on how to submit PAD applications using Connect.EFSA.
All interested stakeholders, citizens, NGO representatives, journalists, representatives of business operators, academics, and any other interested parties were invited to attend the webinar. The recording of the webinar and the Guidance document for PAD applicants, together with questions and answers, will be made available on the EFSA website.
As part of the innovations introduced by Regulation (EU) 2019/1381 (the “Transparency Regulation”), EFSA updated its implementing rules for processing PAD applications. In 2020 EFSA’s Management Board adopted new Practical arrangements for implementing Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 (the “PAD Regulation”) and Articles 6 and 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1367/2006 (the “Aarhus Regulation”), and updated its internal standard operating procedure.
More than one hundred participants attended the webinar, representing stakeholders, such as citizens, representatives of business operators and academia, law firms, consultants, representatives of Member State national competent authorities, representatives of other EU agencies and NGOs. The webinar ended with a live Q&A session, during which contributors and speakers answered, orally or in writing, some of the questions submitted by participants. The questions that were not answered will be addressed when the recording of the webinar will be made available.