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Defending European Values in the WTO

In July 2014, assistant professor Maria Weimer finalized a two-year research project in which she explored to what extent members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and especially the EU, are able to respond to consumer values when regulating food and related products, while complying with WTO standards.

Maria Weimer

Using several case studies, the project showed that WTO members can legitimately invoke consumer, especially animal welfare and ethical concerns, and that recent WTO decisions show a trend towards greater deference to domestic policy choices in this respect. Finally, the project observed a shift at the level of EU regulation of food and related products from mainly science-based to more value-responsive approaches. The findings of Maria's project will be published as journal articles and book contributions in 2015.