1st Meeting between National Focal Points and EFSA
The first meeting between EFSA and national Focal Points took place on 5/6 March 2008 in Parma. Attended by representatives from 25 Member States, EFTA and EEA countries (Norway/Switzerland) and the European Commission, the meeting was a milestone with regard to active networking and stronger co-operation with the Member States.
Whilst EFSA’s Advisory Forum concentrates on the strategic issues related to co-operation and networking, the tasks of the national Focal Point are to support their Advisory Forum member in setting up a well functioning network in the Member States, for instance to exchange scientific information and to provide advice and support to EFSA on various scientific activities.
The main intention of this first meeting was to introduce EFSA and the national Focal Points to one another and to discuss further co-operation. EFSA’s work was presented by senior EFSA management and the Focal Points exchanged first experiences on the work they have undertaken so far.
Key areas of discussion included work under Article 36 of EFSA's Founding Regulation and setting up a Europe-wide database of scientific experts. In addition, the delegates discussed how to enhance co-operation between EFSA and Member States. The meeting took place in a very positive atmosphere, with lively discussions and constructive contributions. Arrangements are in place for organising regular meetings between EFSA and the Focal Points. Outputs of this first meeting between EFSA and Focal Points will be presented to and further discussed at EFSA’s Advisory Forum in April.