Stakeholders can engage with EFSA in many ways according to their interests and expertise. These interaction mechanisms are complemented by services and tools that ensure a timely access to information and an effective exchange with EFSA.
This catalogue provides an overview of EFSA’s engagement mechanisms, tools, resources and services, and of the context in which they are activated.
Engagement mechanisms open to all stakeholders
Public consultations and calls for data
During the lifecycle of scientific mandates and applications on regulated products, EFSA regularly consults stakeholders to incorporate their input into its risks assessments. EFSA may also collect data from third parties to inform its scientific advice.
Public events such as colloquia and workshops ensure that EFSA taps into the expertise of the wider scientific community to jointly prepare for future risk assessment challenges. Public events are also organised to promote the understanding of EFSA’s work (information sessions and webinars) and encourage dialogue on specific issues related to EFSA’s scientific mandates (technical meetings, e.g. during/after a public consultation).
Open plenary meetings of EFSA’s Scientific Panels and Scientific Committee
Every year, EFSA holds one public session of each of its Scientific Panels and Scientific Committee. Stakeholders may attend these meetings as observers.
Engagement mechanisms dedicated to registered stakeholders
In addition to the above, registered stakeholders [link to ‘How to become a registered stakeholder’] may also engage with EFSA through the following mechanisms. Two of these are standing bodies established by EFSA’s Management Board.
Digital community platform of EFSA’s registered stakeholders
The digital community platform of EFSA’s registered stakeholders is the gateway to all the services and tools of stakeholder interest and a collaborative workspace where registered stakeholders can engage with EFSA regularly on a variety of technical topics. The digital community platform enables stakeholders to exchange information and network with peers, co-shape the agenda of meetings with EFSA, advise EFSA on stakeholder engagement matters, and much more. The platform also features a discussion forum, moderated by EFSA, whose topics are selected and prioritised by the community members.
The Stakeholder Forum brings together the community of EFSA’s registered stakeholders once a year to discuss EFSA’s work plans and priorities. The themes and topics of each annual forum are suggested by registered stakeholders and by the priority areas identified by EFSA.
The Stakeholder Bureau’s role is to advise EFSA on stakeholder engagement and dialogue on issues in the Authority’s remit. It also helps to shape the agenda of the Stakeholder Forum. It is made up of seven representatives of EFSA’s stakeholder groups proposed by the stakeholders themselves to act in the interests of the category they represent.
Roundtables address issues raised by NGOs, advocacy groups and industry associations on aspects of EFSA’s work. They promote understanding of EFSA’s risk assessment processes and facilitate stakeholders’ submission of information and responses to EFSA’s calls and consultations.
Thematic discussion groups
Thematic discussion groups act as “learning systems” to discuss and exchange information in specific areas, capitalising on stakeholder knowledge in those domains. Discussion groups are primarily open to registered stakeholders, although EFSA may also invite non-registered organisations or individuals to participate, based on their competency, expertise and experience, as appropriate. Such participation is in line with EFSA’s core values of openness and transparency.
The following groups are currently active:
Stakeholder Discussion Group on Emerging Risks (StaDG-ER): EFSA defines an emerging risk as: “A risk resulting from a newly identified hazard to which a significant exposure may occur, or from an unexpected new or increased significant exposure and/or susceptibility to a known hazard”. Set up in 2010, the StaDG-ER enables EFSA to capitalise on stakeholders’ specialist knowledge in this area, and to improve the exchange of information and dialogue on emerging risks.
Group on Food Chemical Occurrence Data: EFSA is required to work in close cooperation with all organisations operating in the field of data collection. The group on Food Chemical Occurrence Data discusses and exchanges information on the practical aspects and challenges regarding provision of occurrence data and usage data from stakeholders. The group’s focus is mainly on food additives and chemical contaminants in food and feed.
Consultation Group on Bee Guidance Revision: This group is supporting EFSA’s ongoing review of the guidance on risk assessment of pesticides and bees, which was requested by the European Commission. The group is being consulted at various stages of the review and providing input to the EFSA scientific working group charged with revising the document.
Group on EU Bee Partnership for Data Sharing: This discussion group was set up in 2018 to establish the terms of reference for the EU Bee Partnership as an outcome of the scientific symposium “Collecting and sharing data on bee health: towards a European Bee Partnership” organised by EFSA as part of European Bee and Pollination Week 2017. Participants agreed to work towards setting up the European Bee Partnership, a platform run by stakeholders for the benefit of stakeholders to ensure that honeybees, and eventually all pollinators, can thrive in Europe.
Closed or inactive groups: