The courts and international agreements

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

The courts and international agreements

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This chapter examines the position of international agreements under the main heads of the jurisdiction of the EU's courts: in the first place the Court of Justice and the General Court, but also, in particular as regards questions of interpretation or validity of EU law, and courts at the level of the Member States. The following types of jurisdiction are considered. First, before an agreement is concluded it may form the subject of a request for an Opinion by the Court of Justice as to its compatibility with the Treaties (Article 218(11) TFEU). Secondly, once an agreement is concluded and has entered into force, the interpretation of its provisions may form the subject of a question for a preliminary ruling by the Court of Justice (Article 267 TFEU). Thirdly, an agreement may be relied upon to challenge the legality (or validity) of an act of an institution, in a direct action for annulment (Article 263 TFEU), or again in a question for a preliminary ruling. Fourthly, a party may invoke breach of the provisions of an international agreement in the context of a claim concerning the EU's non-contractual liability (Articles 268 and 340 TFEU). Fifthly, the Commission (or a Member State) may rely upon an agreement concluded by the EU in an enforcement action against a Member State (Article 258 TFEU). The chapter then goes on to consider some issues of interpretative approach as regards provisions of international agreements.

Keywords: international agreements; jurisdiction; EU courts; Court of Justice; General Court; EU law

Chapter.  29343 words. 

Subjects: EU Law

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