EU Trade Law
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EU Trade Law

Rafael Leal-Arcas

This comprehensive book provides a thorough analytical overview of the European Union’s existing law and policy in the field of international trade. Considering the history and context of the law’s evolution, it offers an adept examination of its common commercial policy competence through the years, starting with the Treaty of Rome up until the Treaty of Lisbon, as a background for understanding the EU’s present role in the World Trade Organization (WTO) framework.
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Chapter 5: The Constitutional and Lisbon Treaties

Rafael Leal-Arcas

Abstract

After the adoption of the Nice Treaty, EU Member States felt the need to call a Convention on the Future of Europe, inter alia, to further extend voting by qualified majority in the EU Council. One of the main motivations to resume the work done at the Nice Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) was the risk of blocking the EU institutions after enlargement. The Convention on the Future of Europe tried to reduce as much as possible the areas where EU Member States retain their veto power. With reference to trade policy, two main factors were taken into consideration in this effort to reduce the areas of veto power: one external, i.e., the Doha Round, and another one internal, i.e., the 2004 EU enlargement. The Doha Round, which was the background to both the Convention on the Future of Europe as it had been to the 2000 Intergovernmental Conference, was a reminder to EU Member States of the need for efficient and speedy decision-making if the EC was to make a major contribution to global trade negotiations. As for the second factor, the 2004 EU enlargement was perceived as a rationale for greater centralization of decision-making in the common commercial policy, for fear that 25 veto powers of EU Member States would lead to Europaralysis.

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