In the coming decade, Europe will dedicate billions of euros to the necessary research and innovation (R&I) to support a transition to safe and sustainable food systems. EU Agencies, individually and even more so collectively, can make a difference in supporting the European research agenda. EU Agencies are knowledge centres, bringing together know-how to inform policy makers. EU Agencies that have traditionally dealt with aspects of human health, animal health, plant health and ecosystem health in silos, now need to take a broader perspective and move towards a One Health (OH) approach. In this paper, the authors highlight the need for more transdisciplinary cooperation in support of the One Health approach, identify challenges in strengthening interagency cooperation and provide recommendations to address them. EU Agencies are natural bridges between the scientific community and policy-makers and need to dedicate time and effort in fostering this dialogue, e.g. by engaging with relevant initiatives, research projects and European Partnerships. Research generates evidence that can be used also for regulatory science, in support of policy-making. It is urgent to define transdisciplinary research needs and formulate a One Health research agenda. This would be facilitated by establishing transdisciplinary One Health Research & Innovation governance, both at national and EU levels. Ongoing large initiatives, such as the One Health European Joint Programme, have demonstrated that active dialogue with national ministries and EU agencies is beneficial for all parties. Involvement of EU Agencies in the programming of the EU Research Framework programmes is beneficial, because of their regulatory science perspective, their expertise and current or future tasks on research topics. It is timely for EU Agencies to demonstrate leadership in moving the One Health agenda forward and it is encouraging that EU Agencies have committed to establish a cross-agency task force on One Health.
Keywords: Cooperation; Europe; Food safety; One health; Research; Risk assessment; Science-policy-interface.
© 2022 The Authors.