Legal and Political Perspectives
Edited by Panos Koutrakos
Chapter 8: The role of law in Common Security and Defence Policy: functions, limitations and perceptions
Panos Koutrakos INTRODUCTION In an essay originally written in the early 1990s, Weiler wrote that, ‘[i]n some ways, Community law and the European Court were everything an international lawyer could dream about: the Court was creating a new order of international law in which norms were norms, sanctions were sanctions, courts were central and frequently used, and lawyers were important’.1 This emphasis on law as a motor for integration has been apparent in the extraordinary process of group therapy which the European Union has undergone in the last nine years: the Laeken Declaration of the European Council in December 2001, the establishment of the European Convention, the process of the drafting of the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe, the fateful story of its ratification, the Intergovernmental Conference which led to the signing of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2007, the tumultuous process of its ratification and its entry into force on 1 December 2009, all brought the law to the very centre of the debate about the Union’s direction. And as the process got longer and the road to the entry into force of the relevant legal arrangements revealed more roadblocks and turns than their drafters had envisaged, the debate became more heated and its subject-matter wider and more profound. The fate of the legal rules agreed upon first in the Constitutional Treaty and then in the Lisbon Treaty was associated with the very identity of the Union: law was seen as guaranteeing the effectiveness of the Union’s...
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