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.
Bernd M.J. van der Meulen
Antonia Corini, Bernd van der Meulen, Floris Kets, Giuseppa Ottimofiore and Florentin Blanc
National competences to enforce EU food law are heavily regulated through the Official Controls Regulation. Information on food safety issues is shared among competent authorities through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF). National performance is supervised by Directorate-F of DG SANTE; EU supervision though indirect enforcement by nature may directly affect businesses as is shown in the Bowland case. Also RASFF alerts that are traceable to individual businesses may heavily affect these businesses. The EU holds direct enforcement competences with regard to third countries and in case of emergencies including failing enforcement at Member State level. Due to the interlinkedness of competences, judicial accountability regarding RASFF alerts and Directorate-F supervision is lacking both at national level and at EU level. Also political accountability seems to fall short both at national and at EU level.