Trade and Competition Law in the EU and Beyond
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Trade and Competition Law in the EU and Beyond

Edited by Inge Govaere, Reinhard Quick and Marco Bronckers

This well-documented book comprises a stellar cast of European and American authors delivering an overview of cutting edge issues in the areas of trade and competition law, arising in the EU and beyond.
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Chapter 7: EU Common Commercial Policy Throwing Off the Shackles of ‘Mixity’

Inge Govaere


Inge Govaere 7.1 THE ECHTERNACH PROCESSION REVISITED With his usual wit Jacques Bourgeois in 1995 pointedly identified the participation of the EU (then EC) in the WTO, as well as Opinion 1/94,1 as an Echternach procession, meaning that ‘for each three steps forward participants take two steps backward’.2 Little did he know that from there on the procession would proceed painstakingly uphill, with successive Treaty revisions shedding thorns on the already slippery path. Right up until the Lisbon Treaty the process toward fully fledged participation of the EU in international trade relations indeed proved to be a long and difficult one. It might suffice here to point to the short-lived reference to ‘joint’ competence under the common commercial policy (hereafter CCP) heading, inserted by the Nice Treaty. This triggered Opinion 1/08, which was already, by the time it was rendered, historical in the sense of outlived, since the Lisbon Treaty entered into force the very next day.3 Fifteen years have gone by since Jacques wrote his critical paper. The time seems ripe to review the follow-up to two issues that he had identified as problematic immediately after Opinion 1/94, and that led the WTO to be concluded as a mixed agreement. First, he pointed to the ‘inconsistent’ off-hand limitation of the scope of the concept common commercial policy so as to exclude, for instance, transport policy.4 Secondly, he put into 1 CJEU, Opinion 1/94, WTO Agreement (GATS & TRIPS), 15 November 1994, [1994] ECR I-5267. 2...

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