Food Law News - EU - 2001

Commission Memo (MEMO/01/441), 17 December 2001

EUROPEAN FOOD SAFETY AUTHORITY - Next steps for European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

Commenting on European Councilīs decision to locate the EFSA temporarily in Brussels, David Byrne, Commissioner responsible for Health and Consumer Protection, said: "I am committed to getting the Authority up and running quickly. The Commission has already rented office space in Brussels in order to get the EFSA operational as soon as possible. With this provisional decision on location, the recruitment of personnel for the agency can proceed rapidly for Brussels. I have also already taken steps to ensure the continuity of the existing scientific advice while the Authority is being set up."

There is considerable preparatory work involved in getting the Authority up and running. Firstly, its Management Board of 15 members has to be chosen and appointed. This involves seeking nominees of interested parties, consultation of the European Parliament which must give its opinion within 3 months, following which the Council makes the appointments. The Executive Director must also be chosen, which will involve advertising this high profile position. Following a rigorous selection process, he or she will be appointed by the Management Board, after meeting with the European Parliament. In addition, a new selection process has to be undertaken to select and appoint independent scientists to the EFSA's Scientific Committee and Panels. These will replace the existing scientific committees dealing with risk assessment of food safety matters. Moreover, in-house managerial, scientific, technical, administrative and support staff have to be recruited.

The legislation establishing the new Authority has almost completed its passage through the European Parliament and Council of Ministers.

To go to main Food Law Index page,
click here.