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EFSA Board backs Bernhard Url to be new chief

21-Mar-2014
Last updated on 22-Mar-2014 at 04:21 GMT2014-03-22T04:21:00Z

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is backing Dr Bernhard Url to be its next executive director after its management board selected the acting chief from a shortlist.

The nomination of Url, who has been acting in the position since the sudden departure of seven-year tenant Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle in September 2013, will be assessed  by the European Parliament (EP) before it is confirmed.

Dr Url will make a presentation to the EP’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) committee on 14 April, 2014, where he will field questions the parliamentarians may have.

The ENVI committee will then submit an opinion on the appointment to Tony Borg, the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, along with EFSA’s management board chair, Sue Davies.

That will be considered in EFSA’s management board's final decision.

“I am very pleased to inform you that the board voted to nominate Bernhard Url as the executive director,” said Davies in a statement.

”I would like to congratulate Bernhard on behalf of the management board.”

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Dr Url, a veterinarian, joined EFSA in 2012 after resigning as managing director of the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), which also represents Austria on EFSA’s Advisory Forum.

From 2008 to March 2012, he was a member of EFSA’s management board.

During his 10 years at AGES, he was in charge of technical and scientific affairs where his remit included the timely delivery of risk assessment and risk management services across a wide range of food safety-related areas. This included ensuring effective risk communications during urgent food safety-related events.

Prior to AGES Dr Url spent five years as an assistant professor at the Institute of Milk Hygiene and Milk Technology at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna before running a food quality control laboratory from 1993 to 2002.

Dr Url graduated from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna in 1987 and became a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1990. He has published in the field of veterinary medicine with a particular focus on listeria and milk hygiene.

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