European states have long cooperated on issues as varied as scientific research, patents, telecommunications, sports, higher education, postal services, and standardization, and have set up relevant international organizations. To these have been added more recently a network of specialized EU agencies: financial bodies such as the European Central Bank, decentralized agencies such as Europol and the European Food Safety Authority, executive agencies that manage specific EU programmes, and advisory bodies such as the Committee of the Regions.
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