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To be or not to be – granting WTO rules direct effect within the EU

Svane, Julie LU (2010) JURM01 20102
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
I ett antal år har EU-domstolen fått ta ställning till den potentiella konflikt som existerar mellan EU-rätten och reglerna inom WTO. En särskilt uppmärksammad fråga är huruvida WTO-reglerna kan ge upphov till direkt effekt inom EU:s rättssystem, dvs. att de kan åberopas av individer i medlemsländernas domstolar. EU-domstolen har bedömt att WTO-reglerna generellt inte kan ge upphov till direkt effekt, och har varit konsekvent i sina argument för detta. Även om EU-domstolen har medgivit direkt effekt för WTO-regler i enskilda fall, så är den generella hållningen att varken GATT eller WTO-reglerna är tillräckligt precisa för att ge upphov till direkt effekt. Ett annat skäl för denna återhållsamhet är frågan om ömsesidighet, med andra ord de... (More)
I ett antal år har EU-domstolen fått ta ställning till den potentiella konflikt som existerar mellan EU-rätten och reglerna inom WTO. En särskilt uppmärksammad fråga är huruvida WTO-reglerna kan ge upphov till direkt effekt inom EU:s rättssystem, dvs. att de kan åberopas av individer i medlemsländernas domstolar. EU-domstolen har bedömt att WTO-reglerna generellt inte kan ge upphov till direkt effekt, och har varit konsekvent i sina argument för detta. Även om EU-domstolen har medgivit direkt effekt för WTO-regler i enskilda fall, så är den generella hållningen att varken GATT eller WTO-reglerna är tillräckligt precisa för att ge upphov till direkt effekt. Ett annat skäl för denna återhållsamhet är frågan om ömsesidighet, med andra ord de konsekvenser som direkt effekt skulle kunna ha i handelsförhandlingar om endast den ena parten tillämpar direkt effekt. Syftet med denna uppsats är att utforska huruvida EU-domstolens hållning, att neka WTO-reglerna direkt effekt, är motiverad och rättfärdigad.

Denna uppsats tillhandahåller bakgrundsinformation gällande konflikten, då särskilt vad gäller den del som tillhör själva EU:s struktur och beskaffenhet, som t.ex. att EU-rätten är lex superior och hur EU:s externa handel är reglerad. Uppsatsen går även igenom konfliktlösning inom ramen för WTO, då med ett särskilt fokus på förhandlingsmomentet. Det starka motståndet mot att låta WTO-reglerna ge upphov till direkt effekt kan dock hittas hos EU-domstolen, och därför ägnas en avsevärd del av uppsatsen åt att redogöra för EU-domstolens resonemang i relevanta rättsfall. Slutligen konstateras att EU-domstolen har en väldigt solid grund för att neka WTO-reglerna direkt effekt, särskilt med anledning av utrikespolitik. Även om det finns juridiska och ekonomiska argument för att låta WTO-reglerna ge upphov till direkt effekt, så är konklusionen att detta skulle beröva EU en avsevärd makt inom diplomatiska förhandlingar, vilket är själva kärnan i WTO. (Less)
Abstract
For a number of years, the European Court of Justice has had to deal with the potential conflict between the law of the European Union and the law of the World Trade Organization. One issue that has gained particular interest is the question of whether the rules of the WTO give rise to direct effect within the EU legal system, meaning that they can be invoked by individuals in the courts of EU Member States. The ECJ has been consistent with their arguments as to why WTO rules should not be granted direct effect over the board. Although the ECJ has established direct effect in certain cases, the general stance is that neither the GATT nor the WTO rules are sufficiently precise to give rise to direct effect. Another concern is the issue of... (More)
For a number of years, the European Court of Justice has had to deal with the potential conflict between the law of the European Union and the law of the World Trade Organization. One issue that has gained particular interest is the question of whether the rules of the WTO give rise to direct effect within the EU legal system, meaning that they can be invoked by individuals in the courts of EU Member States. The ECJ has been consistent with their arguments as to why WTO rules should not be granted direct effect over the board. Although the ECJ has established direct effect in certain cases, the general stance is that neither the GATT nor the WTO rules are sufficiently precise to give rise to direct effect. Another concern is the issue of reciprocity, i.e. the consequences direct effect would have in trade negotiations if one party acknowledges direct effect whereas the other does not. The purpose of the thesis is to explore whether the stance of the ECJ, to deny WTO rules direct effect, is justified.

This thesis provides knowledge of the background to the conflict, in particular the part which resides in the very nature and structure of the EU, such as the supremacy of EU law and the external trade regulation of the EU. It also includes an in-depth look at the WTO dispute settlement, with a focus on negotiations. However, the staunch resistance to granting WTO rules direct effect can be found with the ECJ, and therefore a substantial part of the thesis is dedicated to exploring the reasoning of the ECJ case law in regards to WTO rules and direct effect. Finally, the thesis concludes that the ECJ indeed has a very solid basis for denying WTO rules direct effect, in particular due to policy considerations. Although there are legal and financial arguments in favour of granting direct effect to WTO rules, the conclusion is that to do so would rob the EU of a substantial amount of power within diplomatic negotiations; the very essence of the WTO. (Less)
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author
Svane, Julie LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM01 20102
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
WTO, EU, European Union, World Trade Organization, ECJ, direct effect, treaty, European Court of Justice
language
English
id
1747491
date added to LUP
2010-12-21 09:44:42
date last changed
2010-12-21 09:44:42
@misc{1747491,
  abstract     = {For a number of years, the European Court of Justice has had to deal with the potential conflict between the law of the European Union and the law of the World Trade Organization. One issue that has gained particular interest is the question of whether the rules of the WTO give rise to direct effect within the EU legal system, meaning that they can be invoked by individuals in the courts of EU Member States. The ECJ has been consistent with their arguments as to why WTO rules should not be granted direct effect over the board. Although the ECJ has established direct effect in certain cases, the general stance is that neither the GATT nor the WTO rules are sufficiently precise to give rise to direct effect. Another concern is the issue of reciprocity, i.e. the consequences direct effect would have in trade negotiations if one party acknowledges direct effect whereas the other does not. The purpose of the thesis is to explore whether the stance of the ECJ, to deny WTO rules direct effect, is justified.

This thesis provides knowledge of the background to the conflict, in particular the part which resides in the very nature and structure of the EU, such as the supremacy of EU law and the external trade regulation of the EU. It also includes an in-depth look at the WTO dispute settlement, with a focus on negotiations. However, the staunch resistance to granting WTO rules direct effect can be found with the ECJ, and therefore a substantial part of the thesis is dedicated to exploring the reasoning of the ECJ case law in regards to WTO rules and direct effect. Finally, the thesis concludes that the ECJ indeed has a very solid basis for denying WTO rules direct effect, in particular due to policy considerations. Although there are legal and financial arguments in favour of granting direct effect to WTO rules, the conclusion is that to do so would rob the EU of a substantial amount of power within diplomatic negotiations; the very essence of the WTO.},
  author       = {Svane, Julie},
  keyword      = {WTO,EU,European Union,World Trade Organization,ECJ,direct effect,treaty,European Court of Justice},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {To be or not to be – granting WTO rules direct effect within the EU},
  year         = {2010},
}