How we work

In developing its scientific opinions, EFSA follows a workflow that runs from the moment EFSA receives a request for scientific advice or initiates its own activity to the moment it publishes and communicates its scientific findings. EFSA has developed a comprehensive body of good risk assessment practices to guide its Scientific Panel and Committee experts to help ensure EFSA opinions respect the highest scientific standards. EFSA implements a quality assurance system to continually review and strengthen the quality of its scientific work.

The risk assessment and risk communication work carried out by EFSA is underpinned by strict legal criteria. EFSA has its own legal personality and while funded from the Community budget, it operates independently of the community institutions such as the European Commission and the Parliament. It is not therefore managed by the European Commission but by an Executive Director, who in turn is answerable to an independent Management Board.

Since its creation, EFSA has established key operating principles and rules which have been adopted by its Management Board. They include a commitment to openness and transparency in all of the Authority’s work. In addition the Authority is bound by European Union legislation on issues such as public access to documents. In accordance with its Founding Regulation, EFSA is legally obliged to publish on its website outcomes of its scientific work as well as main management documentation such as budgets, accounts and contracts. Most importantly, all of EFSA’s activities are guided by a set of core values. These are: excellence in science, Independence, Openness and transparency, and responsiveness.