European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) - (Decentralised Agencies)

Food & Healthy Diet


Not Applicable

Description  Go to funding source website

Decentralised Agencies

Decentralised agencies contribute to the implementation of EU policies. They also support cooperation between the EU and national governments by pooling technical and specialist expertise from both the EU institutions and national authorities. Decentralised agencies are set up for an indefinite period and are located across the EU.


European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)



  • Role: Provides scientific advice & communicates on existing & emerging risks associated with the food chain
  • Director: Bernhard Url
  • Established in: 2002
  • Number of staff: 435
  • Location: Parma (Italy)
  • Website: EFSA


What does EFSA do?

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) provides independent scientific advice on food-related risks.

EFSA issues advice on existing and emerging food risks. This advice informs European laws, rules and policymaking – and so helps protect consumers from risks in the food chain. Its remit covers:

  • food and feed safety
  • nutrition
  • animal health and welfare
  • plant protection
  • plant health.

EFSA’s work involves:

  • gathering scientific data and expertise
  • providing independent, up-to-date scientific advice on food safety issues
  • communicating its scientific work to the public
  • cooperating with EU countries, international bodies, and other stakeholders
  • boosting trust in the EU’s food safety system by providing dependable advice.



EFSA is governed by a management board with 15 members. The board members act in the public interest. They do not represent any government, organisation or industry sector.

The board sets EFSA’s budget and approves its annual work programme.

EFSA’s executive director is responsible for operational and staffing matters. He also draws up the annual work programme together with the Commission, the European Parliament and the EU countries.

The advisory forum advises the executive director. In particular, it advises him on drafting the proposal for the work programme.

The forum is made up of representatives of national bodies responsible for risk assessment in the EU countries. There are also observers from Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and the Commission.


How does EFSA work?

EFSA’s scientific work is led by its scientific committee and its 10 panels, made up of leading scientists.

If more specialised knowledge is needed, a panel may set up a working group. These groups include both EFSA scientists and external experts.

EFSA also works closely with other EU agencies active in the field of health and safety issues relating to humans, animals and the environment:


Who benefits?

  • European consumers – among the best protected and informed in the world about food chain risks
  • EU institutions and national governments in charge of managing public health issues and authorising the use of food and feed products.


See also

EFSA news

EFSA events and meetings

Press centre

EFSA Journal

EFSA documents and publications

Career opportunities

EFSA’s scientific process (step-by-step guide)

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