Competence in matters of commercial policy

Piet Eeckhout

in EU External Relations Law

Second edition

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199606634
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729560 | DOI:

Series: Oxford European Union Law Library

Competence in matters of commercial policy

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This chapter examines the EU's competences in matters of commercial policy, which formed the basis in the original EEC Treaty for external action. It analyzes turf battles, mostly between the Commission and the Council, and the case law and treaty amendments they gave rise to. This is done from a historical perspective, in the sense of discussing both internal and external events which throw light on how the law on trade policy powers developed. The chapter also shows the significant political dimension of these legal battles, so closely interwoven with the classic struggle between supranationalism and intergovernmentalism. In fact, they may be the epitome of this struggle, because of the potent mix of external relations, exclusive competences, and qualified majority voting — a threesome of political sensitivities.

Keywords: EU; commercial policy; EEC Treaty; external action; trade policy powers; supranationalism; intergovernmentalism; external relations

Chapter.  29694 words. 

Subjects: EU Law

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