Whereas the EU is a member of the EBRD, it is only allowed participation as a nonmember in most Bretton Woods institutions and does not have any participation status within ICSID. The EU’s participation in these institutions has not only an institutional and symbolic rationale, but also important policy implications for the EU’s Economic and Monetary Union, development cooperation policy and foreign investment policy. The lack of EU membership as such does not prevent the EU from being influential, directly or through its Member States, whenever it succeeds in a united representation. However, the European bloc’s potential for influence is not fully expressed, as shown by recent proposals to improve the EU’s representation at the IMF Board of Directors.
The debates on CETA have shown that joint committees established by new generation free trade agreements can have significant implications for the EU legal order. This chapter identifies challenges and solutions for an orderly implementation of these agreements in full compliance with EU law. Joint committees are institutional structures without legal personality, created to frame the parties’ joint exercise of a wide array of powers which range from discussion to binding law-making. The EU has the power to establish joint committees within its fields of competence, but the appropriate involvement of Member States is needed in mixed agreements. The activity of EU institutions within joint committees is partially framed by procedural provisions (Articles 218(7) and 218(9) TFEU). However, it can only be compatible with the EU legal order if it complies with other substantive and institutional constraints of constitutional ranking, which imply in particular the involvement of the European Parliament.