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Commission Decision of 5 September 2008 setting up an advisory structure of Scientific Committees and experts in the field of consumer safety, public health and the environment and repealing Decision 2004/210/EC (Text with EEA relevance) (2008/721/EC)

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Changes over time for: CHAPTER 3

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CHAPTER 3U.K.FUNCTIONING OF THE ADVISORY STRUCTURE

Article 6U.K.Resort to the support of the Pool

1.Each Scientific Committee may decide to associate up to five scientific advisors from the Pool to the preparation of a scientific opinion. These associated members shall participate in the activities and deliberations concerning the subject considered with the same functions, responsibilities and rights as the members of the Committee concerned.

2.In addition, each Scientific Committee may decide to invite other scientific advisors from the Pool to the preparation of a scientific opinion. Those advisors shall participate in the activities concerning the subject considered, but their functions and responsibility are restricted to the preparation of the opinion.

3.Scientific advisors from the Pool may also be invited by the Scientific Committees to assist them in the provision of a rapid advice requested by the Commission in accordance with Article 2(3), or to participate in thematic workshops referred to in Article 2(5).

4.Scientific advisors from the Pool may be invited by the Commission to participate in scientific meetings or to provide the Commission services with ad hoc information on specific issues.

Article 7U.K.Working groups

1.The Scientific Committees may create specific working groups the task of which shall consist of preparing and drafting their scientific opinions. These working groups shall be established in particular when there is a need for external expertise on a particular subject.

2.In agreement with the Commission, the Scientific Committees may invite associated members, other scientific advisors from the Pool, specialised external experts, as well as experts from other Community bodies that they consider to have the relevant scientific knowledge and expertise, to contribute to their work.

3.The working groups shall be chaired by a member of the Scientific Committee that convenes them and shall report to it, and may appoint a Rapporteur from among their participants. For particularly complex questions of a multidisciplinary nature, more than one Rapporteur may be appointed.

4.When a question is common to more than one Scientific Committee, a joint working group including members from the Committees concerned, as well as associated members, scientific advisors from the Pool and external experts as necessary, shall be set up.

Article 8U.K.Participation of trainees

In agreement with the Commission and in accordance with the rules of procedure referred to in Article 12, the Scientific Committees may admit trainees to attend their meetings, with a view to contribute to capacity building in the area of risk assessment.

Article 9U.K.Special requirements

1.The Commission may require the adoption of a scientific opinion from a Scientific Committee within a specified period.

2.The Commission may require the adoption of a joint opinion on questions which do not fall within the fields of competence of a single Scientific Committee or which need to be considered by more than one Committee. A joint opinion, following a request for an opinion from the Commission, may also be adopted by Scientific Committees at the initiative of the Inter-Committee Coordination Group referred to in Article 11.

3.The Commission may define in the request for a scientific opinion the consultations, hearings or collaboration with other scientific bodies it deems necessary for the preparation of this opinion. Consultations and hearings may also be decided by a Committee, in agreement with the Commission, if considered necessary for completing an opinion.

4.A Scientific Committee may require additional information from stakeholders for the completion of a scientific opinion. A Scientific Committee may give a deadline for submitting the required information to it. In such a case, the Scientific Committee may decide to suspend its work on the scientific opinion in question. If the required information has not been submitted within that deadline, the Committee may adopt its opinion on the basis of the available information.

Article 10U.K.Election of the Chairs and Vice-Chairs

1.Each Scientific Committee shall elect a Chair and two Vice-Chairs from among their members. The election shall take place by simple majority of the members of the Committee. The term of office of the Chair and Vice-Chair shall be three years, renewable.

2.The procedure for the election of the Chair and Vice-Chairs of the Scientific Committees shall be laid down in the rules of procedures referred to in Article 12.

Article 11U.K.Coordination of the Scientific Committees

An Inter-Committee Coordination Group (ICCG) composed of the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Scientific Committees shall ensure the coordination of the three Scientific Committees in accordance with the rules of procedures referred to in Article 12.

Article 12U.K.Rules of procedures

1.On proposal by and in agreement with the Commission, the Scientific Committees shall adopt common rules of procedures.

2.The rules of procedures shall ensure that the Scientific Committees perform their tasks in compliance with the principles of excellence, independence and transparency, whilst having regard to legitimate requests for commercial confidentiality as well as to the risk assessment principles which may be established by the Commission in light of the experience and in view of its policy in this area.

3.The rules of procedures shall cover in particular the subjects listed in Annex II.

Article 13U.K.Voting rules

1.The Scientific Committees shall adopt their opinions, rapid advice, memoranda and/or position statements by a majority of the total number of members of the Committee concerned combined with the number of associated members.

2.Each Scientific Committee shall act by a majority of its members on all other issues.

3.Those members of a Committee who have resigned or whose membership has been terminated in accordance with Article 5(2) shall not be taken into account for the calculation of the majority for the implementation of paragraphs 1 and 2.

Article 14U.K.Diverging opinions, coordination and collaboration with other Community, national or international bodies

1.The Scientific Committees shall assist the Commission and contribute to identifying at an early stage:

(a)

needs and possibilities for coordination of work and collaboration;

(b)

potential or actual divergences in scientific opinions with other relevant Community, national or international bodies carrying out similar tasks, on general or specific risk assessment issues.

They shall assist the Commission in avoiding, resolving or clarifying divergent opinions and in establishing and maintaining collaboration relationships with such bodies.

2.The Commission may take the initiative to request and organise joint work of the Scientific Committees with Community, national or international bodies carrying out similar tasks. It may in particular request the Scientific Committees to produce joint opinions with other Community bodies, upon agreement with such bodies.

3.Where a substantive divergence over scientific issues has been identified and the body in question is a Community body, the Scientific Committee concerned shall, on the request of the Commission, cooperate with the body concerned with a view to either resolving the divergence or presenting a joint document to the Commission clarifying the contentious scientific issues and identifying the relevant uncertainties in the data. This document shall be made public.

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