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New Diplomatic Activities of the European Union and the Limits of International Law

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Speaker: Prof. Ramses A. Wessel, University of Twente, Professor of European and International Institutional Law
Event date: Thursday, 20 March 2014 05:00 pm - 07:00 pm
Place: University of Luxembourg
Bâtiment Weicker
Room B 001 (ground floor)
4, rue Alphonse Weicker
L-2721 Luxembourg

Lecture Series The European Union as a Global International Actor
organised by Prof. Eleftheria Neframi, University of Luxembourg, Jean Monnet Chair



The conference of Prof. Ramses A. Wessel is part of the Lecture Series on the theme The European Union as a Global International Actor, supported by the FNR (RESCOM Scientific Events).
15 conferences will be held from Mars to November 2014, in three parts: Institutional issues / Policy oriented approach / External perception and impact on global governance.
The objective of the Lecture Series is to bring together leading specialists of legal, political economy or international relations background in order to critically assess the European Union’s external relations in a multipolar world.


The strengthening of the global ambitions of the EU, the establishment of the
European External Action Service (EEAS) as “the first structure of a common
European diplomacy” with ‘embassy-like’ delegations all over the globe, the
development of the EU as an actor in international security on the basis of its
Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), or the more outspoken wish to
play a role in international institutions, be it as a full member (as in the case of
the WTO) or simply as a visible and audible representative (as in the UN
General Assembly) all seem to point to the EU taking up ‘state-functions’ in
more areas than before.
International law, on the other hand, is still quite traditional. Created as ‘interstate’
law it continues to struggle with the presence of non-state actors in the
international order.Yet, international organisations obviously found their place
as international legal actors, and other fora and networks are also increasingly
recognised as legally relevant. It is a truism that the European Union is not a
regular international organisation. From the outset, Member States have been
willing (or were forced…) to transfer competences to the Community and later
the Union. The Lisbon Treaty, however, seems to herald a new phase in which
not only EU law itself, but also international law may be faced with new

Ramses A. Wessel is Professor of European and International Institutional
Law and Co-Director of the Centre for European Studies at the University of
Twente, The Netherlands. He graduated in 1989 at the University of Groningen
in International Law and International Relations and subsequently worked at
the same university (1989-1991) and at the Department of International and
European Institutional Law at Utrecht University (1991-2000). Prof. Ramses A.
Wessel is the author of The European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy: A
Legal Institutional Perspective (Kluwer Law International, 1999) and of
numerous other publications in the field of international and European law. His
general research interests lie in the field of international and European
institutional law, with a focus on the law of international organizations, issues
of global governance, the relationship between international and EU law,
European foreign, security and defence policy and EU external

Data: Invitation_Lecture Series_Session 20-03-2014_Ramses Wessel v2.pdf 360.36 kB