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

Christina Eckes, Ramses A. Wessel

    Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic

    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    PublisherAmsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance
    Number of pages33
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Publication series

    NameWorking Paper Series
    PublisherAmsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance
    No.2017-01
    NameResearch Paper
    PublisherAmsterdam Law School Legal Studies
    No.2017-33

    Keywords

    • METIS-305510
    • European Union
    • Internal Sovereignty
    • External Sovereignty
    • Statehood
    • External Relations
    • Autonomy
    • Exceptionalism

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  • Cite this

    Eckes, C., & Wessel, R. A. (2017). The European Union from an International Perspective: Sovereignty, Statehood, and Special Treatment. (Working Paper Series; No. 2017-01), (Research Paper; No. 2017-33). Amsterdam: Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance.