Who participated in the stakeholder engagement process, and who didn‘t? Why?
We did circulate our invitations to a broad range of stakeholders encompassing 500 to 1,300 contacts and everyone interested could participate in the workshops. The only restriction applied to journalists in order to maintain a discussion forum where everyone could speak freely. In the course of three and a half years a total of 143 individual stakeholders from 19 EU Member States, the EU level, Switzerland, Norway, the USA and international organisations, participated in one or several consultations. In all key consultation steps all main stakeholder groups (see above) where represented and actively contributing. So we were quite happy with the participation.
Of course it would have been even more interesting to have a larger range of groups from civil society organisations and industry/business participating. What we heard back from some contacts is that the lack /the need to carefully prioritize the use of travel funds was an obstacle preventing participation as well as the lack of specific expertise in toxicology (in case of the consultation on feeding studies).