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European Institutions

EU Commission: The EU Commission represents the interests of the EU as a whole.  It can crudely be described as the EU civil service and with its 27 Commissioners has the main role of proposing legislation to be applied/ implemented across all Member States.  The Commission also has the role of ensuring legislation in force is then properly applied by Member State.


EU Council: The EU Council, or Council of the European Union, is a council of National Ministers and has a joint role in passing law at EU level, in conjunction with the EU Parliament, together with a responsibility for policy coordination.  It should not be confused with the recently formed European Council which is a forum for national leaders to meet on a quarterly basis to discuss  the EU’s political priorities.


EU Parliament: Following the Lisbon Treaty which came into force in 2009, the EU Parliament now has joint responsibility, with the EU Council, for passing of new law in a wide number of areas, including agriculture.  The Parliament is made up of nationally elected MEP’s.  Agreement on legal texts are developed through a Committee and Plenary (whole Parliament) structure.


European Food Safety Agency: Although not one of the primary EU legislative bodies, The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is the keystone of European Union (EU) risk assessment regarding food and feed safety. In close collaboration with national authorities and in open consultation with its stakeholders, EFSA provides independent scientific advice and clear communication on existing and emerging risks.