Registered stakeholders will be able to engage with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) through a combination of standing and ad-hoc formats, according to their interests and expertise, said the Parma based EU risk assessor.
EFSA said registration is open to organisations that:
- are legally established in the EU/EEA and are active at EU level;
- have a legitimate interest in EFSA’s work or in the food and feed sector;
- are representative in their field of competence;
- are non-profit making and do not exclusively represent individual companies;
- are registered in the EU transparency register.
When asked for more detail on EFSA’s revamped engagement policy with trade groups and other organizations, a spokesperson for the Authority told this publication:
“Stakeholders have been contributing to work of the EFSA since it was established in 2002. The new approach will see EFSA interacting with a larger range of stakeholder groups through a greater variety of platforms.
“Registered stakeholders will be able to engage with EFSA through a combination of standing - stakeholder forum and stakeholder bureau - and ad-hoc platforms - discussion groups, mandate working groups, roundtables, information sessions and communicator labs.”
Transforming external relations
EFSA said the decision to transform the way it interacts with its stakeholders followed extensive consultation and a benchmarking exercise looking at the performance of the Authority in comparison to other international organizations.
The Authority said the issue was also discussed during EFSA’s second scientific conference at EXPO Milan 2015.
The spokesperson told us the practical benefits of participation in one such stakeholder platform for a feed association, for example, would be engagement with EFSA on the terms of reference for risk assessments that the Authority initiates itself and also on input for scientific guidance documents.
“In addition, the associations may contribute their data and scientific expertise to EFSA’s risk assessments and receive regular information about our on-going and upcoming activities, publications and communications.
“Finally, engagement through one of targeted platforms would enable feed associations to network with other stakeholders in the area of food safety and contribute to EFSA’s work plans and priorities at our annual stakeholder forum,” she said.