In December of 2003, EFG has created the Panel of Experts (PE) to fulfil the EFG mission, contributing to the development of European Policies that could be interesting for geologists. To achieve this matter, it is needed to present Advisory Documents to European Commission and EU Parliament; to organize workshops on geological topics; to participate in public hearings, conferences, and meetings. And that is a work for geologists and experts in different geological issues around Europe. The Groups of Experts developed by EFG are the following, and you can find their current activity and next steps in the document below. If you are interested in being a volunteer in one or more EFG Groups of Experts, do not hesitate to get in contact with EFG Office.
The EFG experts could participate on the European Union Lists of Experts throughout the next links:
Some links for interesting events to these Groups of Experts are available in EVENTS.
EFG Panel of Experts (PE) have been set up to provide high quality advice and information to the European Commission, to the European Parliament, to international NGO’s and to global professional associations, to participate in EC congresses, to participate in EC working groups and to attend EC consultation meetings. In addition, they should proactively respond to relevant issues in the press and to those items on the European Commission and European Parliament agenda. Furthermore, in all these activities it is the intention to take every opportunity to emphasize the importance of geology to society, the benefits of incorporating geological advice and to promote the importance of the geo-scientific profession.
The participation of experts is on a voluntary basis. The advantage for the participating experts is their active involvement in a European and/or worldwide network of experts with the same specialty. Although in most cases several of these specialist networks already exist, the EFG expert panels are different, because they mainly focus on raising the awareness of technical and professional issues and try to influence or convince politicians and decision makers to adjust their directives such that geology is taken into account. In addition, EFG will be trying to arrange workshops/meetings to bring the experts of the group together for detailed discussions, with possible participation of European Commission members. Experts may also be assigned by the EFG Brussels office and the coordinator of the expert panel to meet EC members for detailed discussions, to give presentations to the European Commission/European Parliament when requested or take part in European Commission working groups. Furthermore, EFG can assist in gaining improved insight into EU funding possibilities.
The EFG expert panels are driven by a coordinator assigned per panel, which is tasked with transmitting work activities to the panel members for input and comment and for communicating the consensus report or documents back to the EFG Office. The EFG Board nominates the coordinator. His/her responsibilities include keeping the Board and thus Council informed of activities. The coordinator should be from a member country of the EFG.
The coordinator is responsible for direct communication with the EFG Brussels office. Coordinators should respond to questions from the EFG Brussels office in a timely manner to be able to plan activities accordingly. When the coordinator is unable to respond well due to lack of time (it is after all a voluntary task and it should not significantly affect his/her own job), he/she should indicate this as soon as possible to the EFG Brussels office. Alternative solutions can be sought, such as assigning another expert in the group to temporarily take over the task of coordination.
Membership of an EFG expert panel is not restricted to people from EU countries only. However, the main part of the expert panel should be from EU countries. It is preferred that experts involved have the professional geologist EurGeol title.
It is expected that experts involved in the EFG expert groups will actively participate. When issues arise, they are requested to respond quickly. When experts are not able to respond quickly due to lack of time (as described above for the coordinator), they should notify the coordinator of their panel. Active involvement is necessary to be successful. When members of expert panels are not actively participating, the Office will consider removing them from the list. This will first be discussed with the expert involved. This procedure has been decided upon to avoid large inactive groups without deliverables.
When members of the expert panel come across issues that would be a task for the EFG expert group, they should discuss the issue with the coordinator and the rest of the expert panel. The coordinator should subsequently contact the EFG Brussels office to decide if and what actions should be taken.
To make the best use of the expertise available from the experts we need to have good information about them, and so that we can also approach individuals for special tasks (e.g. involvement in a European Commission working group on behalf of EFG). Therefore experts are requested to provide some information about their expertise.
• Name and contact details.
• Academic qualifications.
• Area of expertise, incl. possible subdivision (e.g. natural hazards; floods expert).
• Area of interest.
• Years of relevant experience.
• Involvement in other networks.
• Any other relevant information.
Regularly, EFG is invited to assign an expert to participate in European Commission working groups. Participation in these EC working groups gives us the opportunity to improve visibility and emphasize the importance of geology and thereby influence the European Policy with (in-) direct relation to geology. The coordinator of the expert panel and the Brussels office director nominates the person assigned to become participant in EC working groups.
Experts that are involved in EC working groups through the EFG also have to represent the European Federation of Geologists in these working groups. In addition, they may also represent their own organization, e.g. a national Geological Survey. A requirement in this task is to provide good feedback and regular reports to the EFG office on activities within the EC working group. Concise reports or status updates are required before EFG Council meetings (June and December). It is recommended to involve the relevant EFG expert panel when and where necessary in matters arising in the EC working group.
Since all products of the expert groups should represent the overall view of all countries involved in the European Federation of Geologists, it is a requirement that all written documents and possible EFG representation by experts at special events are approved by the EFG Board and EFG Council. Therefore, written EFG Advice documents require 1 to 2 weeks final review and approval by the EFG Board and Council. In situations when urgent response is required, approval by the EFG board is sufficient. All communications with the EFG Board and Council are through the EFG office.
Brussels, March 2006.