Research Handbook on the European Union and International Organizations
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Research Handbook on the European Union and International Organizations

Edited by Ramses A. Wessel and Jed Odermatt

Over the years, the European Union has developed relationships with other international institutions, mainly as a result of its increasingly active role as a global actor and the transfer of competences from the Member States to the EU. This book presents a comprehensive and critical assessment of the EU’s engagement with other international institutions, examining both the EU’s representation and cooperation as well as the influence of these bodies on the development of EU law and policy.
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Chapter 5: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Codex Alimentarius Commission

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.

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