The European Union (EU) is a unique confederation of 27 countries under which member countries delegate some of their decision-making powers to EU institutions.
The European Commission (EC) is divided into a number of departments known as Directorate Generals (DGs), each responsible for managing and/or providing technical support to different EU regulatory sectors. The practical implementation of EU policy and legislation is increasingly being performed by certain EU Agencies.
EURL ECVAM is “the EU’s principal organisation for the scientific validation of alternative methods to animal testing.”
In addition to the efforts of EURL ECVAM, there are a number of independent academic, industry, government, and non-government organizations with 3Rs mandates that operate within the EU.
The EU has had specific legislation, Directive 86/609/EEC, in place since 1986 “regarding the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes.”