By Council Decision of 22 December 1994 concerning the conclusion on behalf of the European Community, as regards matters within its competence, of the agreements reached in the Uruguay Round multilateral negotiations (1986-1994),
the European Union is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since it was established in 1995. It is the leading international organization that sets the international rules for trade.
Nowadays, 153 countries are members of the WTO. All 27 EU Member States are individually members of the WTO, but the European Commission negotiates and acts within the WTO as a single body.
The European Commission is in charge of fulfilling all the obligations derived from this act such as representing the EU with a spokesperson in WTO meetings.
The EU is an active partner with the following international standard setting bodies: the Codex Alimentarius Commission,
the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)
and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), which deal with public health, plant health and animal health issues.