The Advisory Forum is EFSA’s consultative body. Made up of representatives from each of the Member States’ national food agencies or other national authorities with a remit similar to that of EFSA, it is chaired by the Executive Director. To ensure independence, these representatives cannot also be members of the Authority’s Management Board. A representative of the European Commission also participates in meetings of the Advisory Forum with observer status.
Tasks of the Forum include advising the Executive Director in general and advising on scientific matters, priorities and the work programme. The Forum also forges close links between EFSA and the 25 EU Member States. The goal is to build strong collaborative networking between EFSA and the national food agencies and authorities working in the fields of risk assessment and communication. This forum also facilitates the sharing of information and collaboration between the national authorities themselves.
To drive forward its work programme, the Forum has established two working groups. The Communications group focuses on enhancing the coherence of food safety messages across the Community. Its job is to reinforce collaboration between all those involved in communications in the Member States’ national food agencies and administrations. The Information Technology group will seek to identify ways of using IT tools to support information exchange and collaboration among the EU food safety network, created by EFSA and its Advisory Forum. Under consideration are links between websites, tools for document sharing and construction of a common repository for scientific and technical information.
Since the establishment of EFSA, the Advisory Forum has held seven meetings in different capitals of Europe.