EU member states' voting behaviour on GE crop approvals

R. Smart, M. Blum, J.H.H. Wesseler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


After the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has given a favourable scientific opinion on the approval of a genetically engineered crop, the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) votes on the application. If SCFCAH reaches no decision, the Appeal Committee (AC) (pre the Treaty of Lisbon: the Council) votes on the application; both committees have never reached a decision either in favour of, or against any application. The final decision is left to the European Commission. All EU Member States (MSs) are represented on both committees; decisions are made by a qualified majority vote (QMV), the rules of which have changed over time. We analyse the voting behaviour of EU MSs over time for results collected since 2003. The data include 37 events, and 51 decisions by SCFCAH and 43 decisions by the Council / AC. Neither at SCFCAH nor Council / AC level has a QMV ever been achieved. At Council / AC level, Austria and The Netherlands have consistently voted against and in favour of an approval, respectively. Other MSs show changes in voting behaviour with respect to the event both at SCFCAH and Council / AC. All MSs showed differences in their voting decisions at SCFCAH and Council / AC level at least once. The paper further analyses the likelihood of a QMV (for / against) of an approval, the minimum number of MSs needed for such a result, and discusses the likelihood of this happening in the near future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts 18th ICABR Conference - Bioeconomy and Development
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event18th ICABR Conference - Bioeconomy and Development, Nairobi, Kenya -
Duration: 18 Jun 201420 Jun 2014


Conference18th ICABR Conference - Bioeconomy and Development, Nairobi, Kenya

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