Directorate General Health & Consumers
The current Scientific Risk Assessment Advisory Structure of the European Commission consists of three components. The three Scientific Committees, the Pool of Scientific Advisors and the Database of Experts. Following an open call for expression of interest, experts were selected either as members of the Scientific Committees (Comment KB: Include blue text as hyperlinks to the different webpages under the tab "expert") or members the Pool of Scientific Advisors. The Database of Experts is permanently open for subscription to scientists wishing to contribute to the work of the Scientific Committees. These three groups form the basis for recruiting experts to provide scientific advice.
The three Scientific Committees (SCCS, the SCHER and the SCENIHR) each consist of a maximum of 17 members appointed for a period of 3 years. These members are well-established scientists with more than 10 years of professional experience and multi-disciplinary accomplishments. The Committees may also associate up to 5 Advisors from the Pool if additional reinforcement is needed.
In addition to attending plenary meetings, members may participate in Working Groups and in other activities involving members of the Scientific Committees.
When a Scientific Committee receives a request for scientific advice (the so called 'mandates') from the Commission, it usually establishes a Working Group to support it on this mandate. Working Groups consist of at least one member of the Scientific Committee that convened it. Due to the specific nature of the requests, in most cases additional, specific expertise is needed that is not available with the Committee. Therefore, a Working Groups may also include advisors from the Pool, and external experts from the data base, from other community bodies and from the scientific community at large.
External experts are usually selected from the Database of Experts. However, depending on the task at hand, additional expertise may be sought, e.g. by launching a call for experts or by a systematic search. Members, Advisors and External Experts of a Working Group are designated by its Chair in agreement with the Chair of the Scientific Committee and in collaboration with the Secretariat.
Associated Advisors from the pool contribute to the Committee’s work on specific issues and may participate in the activities and deliberations concerning the subjects considered with the same functions, responsibilities, and rights as the Members of the Committee concerned.
Working Groups are chaired either by a Committee member or an Advisor from the Pool (of Scientific Advisors) who has been associated by the Committee. The Scientific Committee designates a Rapporteur from among Members, Advisors or External Experts participating in a Working Group. Rapporteurs are responsible for assembling information, editing and revising draft opinions and ensuring that draft reports and scientific opinions are prepared within a set time period. The Rapporteur also ensures that draft opinions are well structured, coherent, and written in a clear and simple language. The Rapporteur works in close co-operation with the Secretariat.
All experts participating in the Scientific Risk Assessment Advisory Structure need to declare commitment, confidentiality, and interests in the subject matter before participating in the work. Declarations of interests are updated orally at each meeting. The declarations will be published once the work on the particular subject matter has been concluded. Likewise, the composition of a Working Group is published only once an opinion has been approved by the Scientific Committee.