The European Union from an International Perspective: Sovereignty, Statehood, and Special Treatment

Forthcoming in: T. Tridimas and R. Schütze (eds.), The Oxford Principles of European Union Law - Volume 1: The European Union Legal Order, Oxford: Oxford University Press)

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance Research Paper No. 2017-01

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2017-33

33 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2017

See all articles by Christina Eckes

Christina Eckes

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance

Ramses A. Wessel

University of Twente - Centre for European Studies

Date Written: June 16, 2017

Abstract

The European Union’s ability to conduct its own foreign policy is not contested as a matter of principle. At the same time, the Union’s ability to conduct its own foreign policy remains under constant pressure, both from the outside and from the inside. This pressure is created by states, which use both external and internal legal narratives to try to rein in the at least at times quasi-sovereign external posture of the EU. Under international law the narrative goes that only states are vested with ‘original rights’ and hence are ‘primary subjects’ of international law. And even though other international actors accept that the Union takes at times a state-like position, “the EU is, under international law, precluded by its very nature from being considered a State” and classified as an international organization. In that capacity, the Union remains seen as exercising delegated rights and at least partially as penetrable in that behind the organization there are still the Member States as the ultimate point of reference. The chapter focuses on the external legal narratives and how they put pressure on the EU as an effective international legal actor.

Keywords: European Union, Internal Sovereignty, External Sovereignty, Statehood, External Relations, Autonomy, Exceptionalism

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Eckes, Christina and Wessel, Ramses A., The European Union from an International Perspective: Sovereignty, Statehood, and Special Treatment (June 16, 2017). Forthcoming in: T. Tridimas and R. Schütze (eds.), The Oxford Principles of European Union Law - Volume 1: The European Union Legal Order, Oxford: Oxford University Press); Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance Research Paper No. 2017-01; Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2017-33. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2987749

Christina Eckes (Contact Author)

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance ( email )

Oudemanhuispoort 4-6
1012 CN Amsterdam
Netherlands

Ramses A. Wessel

University of Twente - Centre for European Studies ( email )

Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.utwente.nl/en/bms/pa/staff/wessel/

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
362
Abstract Views
2,754
rank
83,739
PlumX Metrics