Stakeholder Forum gets down to work

Stakeholder Forum gets down to work


It’s absolutely crucial for EFSA
to engage with our stakeholders. We have set up a stakeholder engagement
approach in line with the EU transparency register and it includes different formats
for interaction; for example the stakeholder forum that we’re having today. The benefits of the new approach
are manifold, the main one is an increased outreach so we’re able
to engage with a broader number of European organisations. I believe that with this new platform
it will give more opportunity to stakeholders to participate more
in the work of EFSA and to improve then the EFSA risk assessment in terms of
independence and transparency. What I enjoyed today is that
I had the opportunity to get to know many different people and I think that
the debate among all different stakeholders is the only way to go towards better science,
that is also better science for everyone. These two platforms; the stakeholder bureau
and the stakeholders forum will increase the efficiency of the communication
mechanism and especially now that academic stakeholders like us,
SETAC Europe, will be involved, this is also a guarantee for including
the best science to the regulatory decisions. For our sector, for EU commerce,
for the distribution, retail and wholesale, for us it’s important that we use
the EFSA opinions for internal quality management systems but also
to communicate to consumers. I mean we really want EFSA to be
the authoritative voice for food safety and also to defend science
and to assign based approach to law making, to policy making. It’s very, very important that EFSA
finds ways to open up as well as possible, to make sure replication can be done
without jeopardizing the trust of the applicants and the only way you can deal with that
is absolute transparency on the processes, on the decisions,
on the whys and hows. So with my own experience I think
what is really key for engaging with patients, consumers and civil society
in general is the mutual willingness to listen to each other,
to establish transparency in the process, to establish trust and also to create
working relations and interactions to make sure that the
scientific assessment is as desired. Our engagement with stakeholders
is not a box ticking exercise, that we should do something with
the stakeholders because it’s modern, it’s our work. We want to engage with the stakeholders
to make our science better and to anchor our science also more in the society,
to get this understanding why society can contribute to the advancement
of the science and that’s actually what we are striving for.

Danny Hutson

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