Member States Agreements as Union Law
Title: Member States Agreements as Union Law
Author: CREMONA, Marise
Citation: Enzo CANNIZZARO, Paolo PALCHETTI and Ramses A. WESSEL (eds), International Law as Law of the European Union, Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff, 2011, Studies in EU External Relations, 5, 291-324
International agreements concluded by the European Union are binding on the institutions of the Union and on its Member States. They have been said by the European Court of Justice to be an integral part of the Union legal order. In contrast, the Treaties are almost silent about the possible legal effects in the EU legal order of international agreements concluded by the Member States alone. The EU, as an international actor, operates as a complex organization which continues to include the Member States, and the international commitments entered into by the Member States may produce legal effects, directly or indirectly, within the EU legal order. The focus of this paper is a specific and seemingly paradoxical situation: an international agreement which falls, at least in part, within the exclusive competence of the European Union, and yet the Member States are parties to the agreement and the Union is not. While not common, the participation of the Member States in international agreements falling within exclusive Union competence is not as unusual as we might imagine and it gives rise to a number of interesting legal questions as to the status of the agreement, if any, in Union law and the Member States’ obligations under Union law arising as a consequence. The legal questions explored here arise out of the fact that the international agreements in such cases are not formally a ‘Union agreement’ within the scope of Articles 216 and 218 TFEU and thus the matters regulated by those provisions, including the binding nature of the agreement as far as the Union is concerned, and its place in the Union legal order, are not expressly resolved.
Files in this item
There are no files associated with this item.