Article 21 and the EU’s Common Commercial Policy: A Test of Coherence

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This contribution investigates the role of Article 21 TEU in the context of the EU’s common commercial policy (CCP), with specific reference to its new investment competence. Article 21, introducing non-commercial objectives in the CCP, has been both hailed for rebalancing and expanding the EU’s foreign policy and criticised for needlessly politicising the external action of the EU. This article is an attempt to assess the true import of the changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in this area, for what is possible given the limited temporal extent of their application. Section 2 will briefly review the role of foreign investment in the CCP, while Section 3 will do the same for the non-commercial objectives pursued by the EU in the context of its CCP competences. Section 4 is dedicated to an analysis of Article 21 TEU and its legal value. In doing so, the section will consider issues such as to what extent Article 21 TEU constrains the foreign policy of the EU and its effect with specific reference to the CCP. Further, the article will consider the relationship between Article 21 TEU and other programmatic articles of the TEU, such as Article 3 TEU, and the incorporation of non-commercial objectives in the EU’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Preferential Trade Arrangements (PTAs). In Section 5, there will be a review and implications of the recent Front Polisario case, in which the General Court determined the EU’s scope of responsibility for what concern non-commercial objectives in a trade agreement, taking also into account the latest developments on the case in the Court of Justice of the EU’s Judgment. Finally, Section 6 will offer some concluding remarks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Yearbook of International Economic Law 2017
EditorsMarc Bungenberg, Jörg Philipp Terhechte, Andreas R. Ziegler
Number of pages27
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Publication date2017
ISBN (print)978-3-319-58831-5
ISBN (electronic)978-3-319-58832-2
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Law