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 15: World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Frits E. Bontekoe and Max Wallot


The relationship between the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the European Union (EU) has different facets. It is characterized by a growing EU presence within the various bodies of WIPO in which the EU assumes more and more responsibilities, for instance as regards officer positions. In most of WIPO’s subsidiary bodies the EU participates in an observer capacity but it also holds membership status in some Unions, committees and working groups. Furthermore, the EU is now a party to several international intellectual property treaties administered by WIPO. In this regard, the question of EU competence to conclude international agreements is of pivotal importance and the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union shows a trend towards a consolidating EU competence in this domain.

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