Maintaining close links with European Union agencies
There are currently more than 30 European agencies that help implement European Union (EU) policies, in conjunction with national bodies in Member States. ANSES maintains relations with all EU agencies with similar areas of expertise
In general, ANSES seeks to collaborate on an ongoing basis with EU agencies while ensuring the consistency and dissemination of information to other French authorities working with these agencies.
The type and frequency of this collaboration varies depending on the roles and goals of each EU agency: either ANSES is the French focal point, or its experts participate in the working groups of these agencies, or ANSES represents France within their entities.
Read about the relations ANSES maintains with each of the EU agencies within its field (PDF)
ANSES: EFSA national focal point
Since 2008, ANSES has been the national focal point for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
EFSA is responsible for assessing risks to food and feed safety, nutrition, animal health and welfare, and plant health and protection, at EU level. In carrying out this role, EFSA works closely with partners and stakeholders across Europe and the world, including with EU Member States.
In this context, EFSA has a national focal point in each EU Member State (as well as in Iceland and Norway). The main role of a focal point is to be EFSA’s point of contact for the implementation of its scientific cooperation policy on the assessment of health risks in the food chain, which is based on a “farm to fork” approach. On behalf of its country, the focal point supports the EFSA Advisory Forum member, and shares and disseminates information.
ANSES fulfils this role for France under a multi-annual agreement specifying the activities required of the focal points, currently grouped into broad categories, including scientific information sharing; networking and research; scientific dissemination and visibility; capacity building; support on data-related issues; and support to scientific networks.
ANSES collaborates with EFSA on behalf of France in various ways:
- national representation: representative in the EFSA Advisory Forum, focal point, representatives in the scientific networks and in the communication experts network, and from July 2022, representative in EFSA’s Management Board;
- at institutional level: cooperation with the competent organisations under Article 36 of EFSA’s founding regulation and with stakeholders;
- cooperation on an individual basis: participation in expert groups, such as scientific panels and working groups.
There is a wide range of collaborative approaches, including submissions to funded calls for scientific projects, calls for data, public consultations, information sharing, data collection, and participation in or co-hosting of scientific events.
The French focal point continuously engages with the national representatives within other entities and with the EFSA representatives of the French competent organisations, and manages an active network of collaborating partners on food safety. This is reflected in a dynamic to disseminate information and support the establishment of collaborative projects, contributing to the practical implementation of the cooperation policy.
To contact the ANSES focal point for EFSA: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transparency in risk assessment: the beginning of a new era
New rules on transparency and sustainability are transforming the way in which EFSA carries out its role as risk assessor within the EU food safety system. ANSES is involved in the implementation of the regulation commonly known as the “Transparency Regulation”.
Participation in European and international expert groups and networks
ANSES staff are represented in many European and international groups and committees relevant to its themes and work, especially those ANSES shares with EU agencies. They may represent ANSES or France, or be individually involved on the basis of their scientific and technical expertise. This individual participation on a personal basis (intuitu personae) contributes to increasing the wider influence of ANSES and France. It is also of great value for ANSES’s work since it allows staff to develop their work within the Agency further, while complying with ethical and confidentiality requirements in the context of their participation in expert groups, and to take ANSES’s methodological approaches to a European or international level.