Organised by the Research Unit in Law of the University of Luxembourg and the Centre for the Law of EU External Relations (CLEER) of the T.M.C. Asser Institute
Supported by the Fonds National de la Recherche, Luxembourg (FNR 98355334)
Bringing together international lawyers and EU external relations lawyers, the conference will discuss recent developments concerning EU external action in the field of international economic law, concentrating, on a number of important issues raised by recent practice and case law whose resolution does not appear to be in the offing.
Attention will be paid, firstly, to the division of competence between the EU and the Member States in the field of international economic relations, which remains unclear. Whereas the European Commission advocates a comprehensive, all-encompassing competence under the common commercial policy provision (Art. 207 TFEU), the Member States and the Council claim that comprehensive free trade agreements (FTAs) fall within shared competence and ought to be concluded in the form of mixed agreements.
Next, the highly controversial issue of the inclusion of dispute settlement mechanisms in such agreements will be examined. The EU, along with its Member States, is already party to one agreement including investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), namely the Energy Charter Treaty. It is unclear, however, to what extent ISDS is compatible with EU law and with the principle of autonomy in particular.
Finally, the conference will discuss issues concerning the distribution of international responsibility between the EU and its Member States, as well as the relation between FTAs and the regulatory powers of the Member States in sensitive fields such as environmental protection, public health and labour law.