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News article6 October 2023European Food Safety Authority2 min read

Shaping up for the future: EU Agencies meet at EFSA, Parma

The Heads of the Network of Agencies came together on 5-7 July at EFSA’s headquarters in Parma, Italy, to discuss common strategic initiatives. In particular, they looked into more efficient ways of working together to provide greater value for European citizens. The meeting, also attended by representatives from the European Commission and Parliament, was hosted by EFSA as current Chair of the European Union Agencies Network (EUAN) comprising 45 Agencies and Joint Undertakings. The Agencies which are spread across Europe work in a wide range of policy areas, from health and environment, to migration and security, to business and innovation.


The focus of the Heads of Agencies meeting (6-7 July) was on reviewing the progress made on the actions laid out in the Network’s Work Programme: increased sharing of services and capabilities among Agencies; common initiatives to enhance Agencies’ value creation in line with EU strategic priorities; improved internal governance of the Network; and more visible communication on the services provided by the Agencies for European citizens.

Heads of Agencies also discussed current and future challenges, and how the EU Agency model could be reshaped to address these. In an intensive half-day workshop, participants from both the Heads of Agencies and Heads of Resources also explored the possibility of sharing capabilities in human resource management, and they also looked at the state of play of Brexit and its possible impact on the Agencies.

Putting priorities into practice

In a separate meeting of EU Agencies’ Heads of Resources (5-6 July), delegates dealt with hands-on implications of putting strategic priorities into practice. Concrete examples included joint procurement, shared IT services, inter-agency job advertisements, budgetary and staff management rules, and Agencies’ access to SYSPER, the HR management IT tool used by the Commission and other EU bodies.

Alberto Spagnolli, EFSA’s Senior Policy Adviser, said: “This first high-level meeting hosted by EFSA marked an important step in delivering on the Network’s Work Programme for 2017-18. There was a strong focus on modernising human resource management and creating efficiencies through innovation and cooperation and the meeting made progress in generating further value for Europe’s citizens while saving taxpayers’ money.”

Sharing resources and expertise, for decades the Agencies have made a significantly positive impact on the daily lives of European citizens in the areas of food safety and medicine, police and justice, vocational training and working conditions, nuclear energy, environmental protection, research, transport and satellite systems.

In March 2017, EFSA took over the Chairmanship of the Network and work in detailed consultation with EUIPO and Eurofound as the Troika of the Network. EFSA’s Chairmanship will continue until the end of February 2018 when the Heads of Agencies and Resources will meet once again in Brussels for the bi-annual EUAN meetings on 20-22 February 2018 during which a handover will take place for the incoming chairing Agency.


Publication date
6 October 2023
European Food Safety Authority