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Bernd van der Meulen and Bart Wernaart

The EU as well as the EU Member States are members of the FAO and its subsidiary body, the Codex Alimentarius Commission. In participating in decision making the EU faces challenges in aligning its own fragmented institutional views with those of the different Member States. Our analysis shows that the effect the FAO achieved on EU food law is negligible in terms of its rights-based approach to food security but considerable through the Codex Alimentarius standards on food safety. A possible explanation for this difference is the EU’s reluctance to accept international obligations where this can be avoided, and an eagerness to influence the content of international obligations where they cannot be avoided.