Europe will move closer to the completion of its food safety body next week when the 15 member management board of the new European Food Safety Authority meets for the first time.
The agenda for the meeting, to be held on 18-19 September, will involve approving the board's operating methods and appointing its chairman and vice-chairman. As yet without a permanent location and a captain at the helm, the principal initial task over the next few months will be to appoint the executive director, who will be responsible for the day to day management of the EFSA.
"I'm looking forward to meeting the new board for the first time next week," said Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner David Byrne. "It is the duty of the board to ensure that EFSA functions effectively and efficiently, so that the potential benefits of the organisation in restoring people's confidence in the food they eat are maximised."
According to the European Commission the management board, the first of the Authority's four main operational elements, will be closely followed by the next main component, which is the appointment of the executive director, due to be in the post by early 2003. The Advisory Forum, comprised of representatives of agencies in the Member States which have a similar remit to the Authority, will follow. The fourth main element will be the creation of the scientific Committee and panels, responsible for scientific assessment of food safety issues.