The Focal Point (FP):

A Focal Point Network started in 2008 to support the Advisory Forum in the implementation of joint activities between EFSA and the EU Member States.

Focal Points act as an interface between EFSA, national food safety authorities in the EU Member States and national scientific institutions.

They aim to significantly improve scientific cooperation and networking activities between EFSA and the EU Member States.

The main tasks of the Focal Points are:

1. Exchange of scientific information

FPs are responsible for exchanging information on relevant scientific results, data collection activities and/or other useful scientific risk assessment information.

2. Cooperation through Article 36 and national scientific expert databases or networks

FPs provide advice on actions of common interest under Article 36 and on promotion activities to attract scientific experts to work with EFSA. For example:  

  • Updating the list of competent public bodies in Belgium (the so-called Article 36 organisations)
  • Providing EFSA with opinions (through collecting or transferring information) on possible scientific measures of common interest within the network of Article 36 organisations.
  • Developing and updating a database of scientific experts and institutions in Belgium able to assist EFSA and the national authorities in risk assessment.

3. Networking and raising the visibility of EFSA and of its role in the EU food safety system

4. Training opportunities in risk assessment

  • FPs disseminate information provided by EFSA and national authorities regarding risk assessment training opportunities to competent national bodies. By doing so, they contribute to the harmonisation of risk assessment practices throughout the EU.
  • FPs will support, where appropriate, the implementation of publicly funded courses, such as enhanced food risk assessment courses and EFSA's advanced risk assessment courses.

5. Coordination of EFSA's scientific networks at national level

FPs promote a timely and effective information flow between AF members and national representatives in EFSA's scientific networks, by strengthening national networks.

6. International cooperation

FPs assist EFSA and AF members in sharing relevant information on international scientific cooperation activities related to risk assessment.

In Belgium, the Focal Point is located in the International Relations Unit of the Federal Public Service (FPS) Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment.

Time to celebrate : The 10th Anniversary of the Focal Point Network

For the past 10 years EFSA's Focal Points have been acting as ambassadors in EU Member States and operating as a network of cross-border collaboration on food safety.  To mark the occasion, a new interactive timeline highlights the key achievements of the network.
See link bellow : interactive timeline (link is external) 

Have a read of the infographic of Focal Point achievements bellow, which has also been added to the Focal Point page (link is external).


FPS Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment

International Relations and Health Emergencies Unit

Mrs Laurence Ballieux

Phone: +32 2 524 90 38