Extraterritoriality and Territorial Extension in EU Law

40 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2013 Last revised: 17 Apr 2014

See all articles by Joanne Scott

Joanne Scott

University College London - Faculty of Laws

Date Written: June 8, 2013


This paper examines the global reach of EU law in the context of current debates about the rise of the EU as a global regulatory power. Challenging recent claims to the contrary, its findings are that the enactment of extraterritorial legislation by the EU is extremely rare. Nevertheless, the EU makes frequent recourse to a legislative technique that I term territorial extension, in order to gain regulatory traction over activities that take place abroad. This technique not only leads to the EU governing transactions that are not centered upon the territory of the EU, but it also enables the EU to influence the nature and content third country and international law. Nevertheless, it is inaccurate to say that the EU thereby seeks to export its own norms. EU legislation which engages in territorial extension is generally characterized by an international orientation revealing the EU to be engaged in action-forcing contingent unilateralism rather than the exportation of norms. The EU seeks to galvanise third country or global action to tackle transboundary problems and to pursue objectives that have been internationally agreed. The importance to the EU of this international orientation is clear from the criticisms that the EU has made of extraterritoriality and territorial extension in United States law.

Keywords: EU Law, Extraterritoriality, EU and US

JEL Classification: K20, K32, K33

Suggested Citation

Scott, Joanne, Extraterritoriality and Territorial Extension in EU Law (June 8, 2013). American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 62, No. 1, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2276433

Joanne Scott (Contact Author)

University College London - Faculty of Laws ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics