International Initiatives

EFSA maintains close working contacts with a range of international partners active in relevant fields. EFSA has built dialogue and co-operation with food agencies in different parts of the world and with international organisations. On January 2009, the Management Board adopted EFSA’s strategic approach to international initiatives setting out EFSA's goals in this area in the years ahead.

EFSA experts participate at the request of the European Commission in meetings of international organisations, such as those organised by Codex Alimentarius, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international bodies.

EFSA continues to build relationships with its international counterparts in particular in the USA, Canada, Australia/New Zealand and Japan. EFSA has held meetings with the Japanese Food Safety Commission (JFSC), with Chinese, Korean and Afghan authorities and with the recently established Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety. EFSA experts also assisted with discussions in Malaysia on strengthening national food safety initiatives.

Contacts between EFSA and the Croatian, Turkish and Macedonian authorities are extensive in the context of the on going Pre-Accession Programme for EU enlargement, funded by the European Commission, to prepare the national structures for possible future co-operation with EFSA as full members of the EU.

EFSA is also actively pursuing the greater integration of EU neighbouring countries into EFSA’s work, and has initiated cooperation with some of them such as Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine.

Strategic approach to international activities

EU enlargement

Cooperation with Japan

On 7 December 2009 EFSA and the Food Safety Commission of Japan (JFSC) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation for the promotion of scientific cooperation on data collection and data sharing related to risk assessment. EFSA and JFSC will also provide mutual support and cooperation on sharing views and expertise in the area of methodologies for data collection.

EFSA Memorandum (76 KB)

JFSC Memorandum (80 KB)

Cooperation with the United States

On 2 July 2007, EFSA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) signed the first U.S. - European agreement in the area of assessing food safety risk. Based on the Transatlantic Economic Partnership, the agreement is designed to facilitate the sharing of confidential scientific and other information between EFSA and the FDA. A formal agreement ensures appropriate protection of such confidential information under the applicable legal frameworks in both the U.S. and the EU.

EFSA Statement (54 KB)

FDA Statement (70 KB)