Law, Science and the Management of Risks to Health at the National, European and International Level--Stories on Baby Dummies, Mad Cows and Hormones in Beef
Posted: 12 Jun 2001
The proper "functioning" of modern markets is dependent upon the availability of sophisticated responses to the risks inherent in the production and distribution of products. This is not only true within the boundaries of nation states but equally within the European Union and at the international level. There institutional frameworks have been established within which the interest in free trade and concerns for health, safety and the environment can be balanced. The article presents three cases which llustrate in an exemplary way the failures of purely national responses, the need to establish transnational institutions and the legitimacy problems of transnational governance structures. The merits of the responses to this problems at the three levels of governance seem uneven. Whereas the reorganization of regulatory powers was quite successful both in terms of output and input legitimacy in the EU, at the WTO level the efficacy of the new regime remains limited and its political legitimacy dubious.
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