Intermediate Evaluation of Directorate-General Health and Consumer Protection Non-Food Scientific Committees

Final report

by Ruth Levitt, Stijn Hoorens, Michael Hallsworth, Jennifer Rubin, Lisa Klautzer

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This report analyzes the findings of an intermediate evaluation of the three non-food scientific committees at the European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO). These committees provide the commission with scientific advice to prepare policy and proposals in the areas of consumer safety, public health and the environment. This report assesses that advice, guides the commission services in the renewal of the membership of the three scientific committees in 2007, and draws the commission's attention to new or emerging issues that may pose an actual or potential threat. The remit of the research was set by the European Commission. Using document review, interviews and analysis of five case studies, the authors of this report assessed the committees on six main issues: 1) efficiency and timeliness; 2) relevance and impact; 3) coherence; 4) confidence in the soundness of scientific opinions; 5) independence and transparency; and 6) interface between the commission services and the scientific committees. Overall, the committees function adequately and pay substantial contribution to the evidence-base upon which decision-making by the European Commission is established. However, the intermediate evaluation earmarked various practical recommendations to further improve the process of scientific advice and its implementation in DG SANCO policymaking.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Scope and methodology

  • Chapter Three

    Case studies

  • Chapter Four

    Views of interviewees

  • Chapter Five

    Key findings

  • Chapter Six

    Recommendations

  • Appendix A

    Documents consulted

  • Appendix B

    Respondents’ affiliations

  • Appendix C

    Process map of providing an Opinion

  • Appendix D

    Interview core questions

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The research described in this report was prepared for the European Commission and was conducted by RAND Europe.

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