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Term Definition
acquis (EU)
The EU's 'acquis' is the body of common rights and obligations that are binding on all EU countries, as EU Members. It is constantly evolving and comprises:
  • the content, principles and political objectives of the Treaties;
  • legislation adopted in application of the treaties and the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU;
  • declarations and resolutions adopted by the EU;
  • measures relating to the common foreign and security policy;
  • measures relating to justice and home affairs;
  • international agreements concluded by the EU and those concluded by the EU countries between themselves in the field of the EU's activities.
Acceptable daily intake: An estimate of the amount of a substance in food or drinking water that can be consumed over a lifetime without presenting an appreciable risk to health. It is usually expressed as milligrams of the substance per kilogram of body weight and applies to chemical substances such as food additives, pesticide residues and veterinary drugs.
The average requirement (AR) is the level of a nutrient in the diet that meets the daily needs of half the people in a typical healthy population.

Amnesic shellfish poison. See Regulation (EC) No 853/2004.

The body mass index (BMI) is a measurement that expresses the relationship between an individual’s weight and height. BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in metres squared (i.e. height x height). Used to assess whether someone’s weight is appropriate.

Common agricultural policy (CAP): This is the set of legislation and practices adopted by the European Union to provide a common, unified policy on agriculture. The initial measures were introduced in 1962. Since then, the policy has been adapted and developed and has undergone a number of reforms.

The overall objective is to ensure that agriculture can be maintained over the long term at the heart of a living countryside.

The European Union is obliged by law to have an agricultural policy. Article 38 (4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states that ʽthe operation and development of the internal market for agricultural products must be accompanied by the establishment of a Common Agricultural Policy.ʼ

The aims are as follows (article 39):

  • an increase in agricultural productivity by means of technical progress and the rational development of agricultural production,
  • a fair standard of living for the agricultural community,
  • the stabilisation of markets for farm products,
  • food security (i.e. ensuring that there is always a supply of food),
  • food affordability (i.e. that the price of food is at a level that people can afford).

The founding fathers of the European Union realised that for farmers and the countryside to be prosperous and for consumers to be able to afford, at all times, to buy food in the shops then it was necessary to have a Common Agricultural Policy to stabilise agricultural and food prices and to encourage the technical progress in farming. This would prevent a recurrence of past problems of food scarcity and poverty in the countryside.

Critical Control Point
CEN (institutions)
The European Committee for Standardisation.

Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products

CODEX (institutions)

Codex Alimentarius of FAO/WHO.

codification (EU)
Codification is the process of bringing together a legal act (or several related acts) and all its amendments into a single new act.
Codification can take 2 forms:
  • vertical: where an original act and its amendments are incorporated in a single new act; or
  • horizontal: where 2 or more original acts covering related subjects, and any amendments to them, are merged in a single new act.
Unlike in the case of consolidation (i.e. the unofficial simplification of a legal act incorporating its amendments), the new act goes through the full legislative process (e.g. ordinary legislative procedure, consultation procedure or consent procedure) and replaces the acts that are being codified.
comitology (EU)

The term ‘comitology’ refers to the set of procedures through which the European Commission exercises the implementing powers conferred on it by the EU legislator, with the assistance of committees of representatives from EU countries. Such comitology committees are chaired by a Commission official and give an opinion on implementing acts proposed by the Commission.

  • Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 lays down the general principles concerning mechanisms for control by EU countries of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers. It put into practice Article 291 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) on implementing acts.
  • Under the Regulation, the committees use two types of procedures:
    - examination and
    - advisory.
  • The choice of procedure for a committee is made by the EU legislator, and depends on the nature of the implementing powers that are laid out in the basic regulation, directive or decision.
consolidation (EU)

When an EU legal act is consolidated, it means that the original act and all its subsequent amendments and corrections are combined in a single easy-to-read document. This document shows the legal rules which are applicable at a certain  point in time. Consolidation strictly follows instructions stated in the amending act and does not alter the content in any way. There is no change to the act’s form or content. Consolidation in EUR-lexis thus an unofficial simplification of the legislation in the interests of clarity and may then be used as a basis for codification.

Eurowet offers full consolidated up-to-date texts of all legislation that is of interest for the food & drink sector.

Coreper (institutional)
Abbreviation used to refer to the committee of permanent representatives to the European Union. The committee is made up by the representatives (ambassadors or their represemtatives) of the EU countries. They prepare the proposals for the Council. Chairman is the ambassador from the member state holding the rotating EU presidency at the time. The coreper discusses the proposals and drafts for laws tabled by the European Commission, before they are put on the agenda for the European Council.
Court of Justice (institutional)

The Court of Justice, together with the General Court, forms the Court of Justice of the European Union whose aim is to ensure the uniform interpretation of EU law and that EU countries and institutions respect the law.

The Court is responsible for dealing with:

  • references for preliminary rulings from national courts on interpretation of EU law;
  • actions brought by an EU country or the Commission against an EU country for infringing EU law;
  • some actions brought by an EU country for annulment of a measure adopted by an EU institution;
  • actions against an EU institution for failure to act;appeals on points of law against judgments of the General Court.
The Court is composed of 28 judges (1 from each EU country) and 11 advocates-general, who present opinions on cases brought before the Court. They are appointed by common accord of EU countries for 6 years.

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