Skip to main content

The Duty of Sincere Cooperation and Its Implications for Autonomous Member State Action in the Field of External Relations

Abstract

This contribution clarifies the procedural and substantive implications of the duty of sincere co-operation in order to identify the room of manoeuvre for individual Member States at the international stage. Based upon an analysis of the relevant case law of the European Court of Justice, it is argued that the implications of the loyalty principle essentially depend upon the particular context of the EU’s international involvement and, more specifically, upon the implications of a Member State’s intervention for the unity of the EU’s representation and the uniform application of EU law. Whereas this approach is instrumental to achieve the objectives of the EU’s external action as expressed in Article 21 TEU, it may nevertheless have certain paradoxical consequences from the perspective of the Member States.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-05782-4_13
  • Chapter length: 16 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   139.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-05782-4
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   179.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Notes

  1. 1.

    Judgment of 14 July 2005, Commission v Germany, C-433/03, EU:C:2005:462, paragraph 64.

  2. 2.

    Judgment of 20 April 2010, Commission v Sweden, C-246/07, EU:C:2010:203, paragraph 77.

  3. 3.

    Judgment of 27 February 2007, Segi and Others v Council, C-355/04, EU:C:2007:116, paragraph 52.

  4. 4.

    Opinion of 19 March 1993, ILO Convention, 2/91, EU:C:1993:106, paragraph 37.

  5. 5.

    AG Mengozzi Opinion of 29 January 2015, Commission v Council, C-28/12, EU:C:2015:43, paragraph 63.

  6. 6.

    Judgment of 1 October 2009, Commission v Council (CITES), C-370/07, EU:C:2009:590.

  7. 7.

    Significantly, in the pre-Lisbon context, the principle of genuine cooperation was only explicitly mentioned in Article 10 of the EC Treaty and thus, in theory, restricted to the former first pillar of the Union. Nevertheless, the Court in Pupino suggested that Article 10 TEC had a trans-pillar application, Judgment of 16 June 2005, Pupino, C-105/03, EU:C:2005:386, paragraph 42. The Treaty of Lisbon logically confirms this approach taking into account the formal abolition of the pillar structure, without however abandoning the special treatment of the former second pillar (Common Foreign and Security Policy), expressed in Article 24(3) TEU.

  8. 8.

    Judgment of 17 December 1981, Luxembourg v Parliament, 30/81, EU:C:1983:32, paragraph 37.

  9. 9.

    Judgment of 27 September 1988, Greece v Council, 204/86, EU:C:1988:450, paragraph 16; Judgment of 30 March 1995, Parliament v Council, C-65/93, EU:C:1995:91, paragraph 23.

  10. 10.

    Judgment of 6 October 2015, Council v Commission, C-73/14, EU:C:2015:663, paragraph 86.

  11. 11.

    Judgment of 28 March 2017, PJSC Rosneft Oil Company v Her Majesty’s Treasury et. al., C-72/15, EU:C:2017:236, paragraph 62.

  12. 12.

    AG Ján Mazák Opinion of 8 May 2008, Greece v Commission, C-203/07 P, EU:C:2008:270, paragraph 83.

  13. 13.

    Judgment of 19 July 2016, H. v Council, C-455/14 P, EU:C:2016:569, paragraph 41; Judgment of 28 March 2017, PJSC Rosneft Oil Company v Her Majesty’s Treasury et. al., C-72/15, EU:C:2017:236, paragraph 72.

  14. 14.

    See Article 24 TEU and Declarations no. 13 and 14 to the TEU.

  15. 15.

    AG Wahl Opinion of 7 April 2016, H. v Council, C-455/14 P, EU:C:2016:212, paragraph 39.

  16. 16.

    Judgment of 31 March 1971, Commission v Council, 22/70, EU:C:1971:32, paragraph 22.

  17. 17.

    Judgment of 12 February 2009, Commission v Greece, C-45/07, EU:C:2009:81.

  18. 18.

    Regulation (EC) 725/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on enhancing ship and port facility security, [2004] OJ L/129/6.

  19. 19.

    Article 10(4) Regulation 725/2004.

  20. 20.

    Judgment of 12 February 2009, Commission v Greece, C-45/07, EU:C:2009:81, paragraph 30.

  21. 21.

    This rule was already expressed in Opinion 2/91, where the Court observed that in situations where the EU cannot accede to an international agreement but its Member States can, “cooperation between the Community and the Member States is all the more necessary” where the Union must act “through the medium of the Member States”, Opinion of 19 March 1993, ILO Convention, 2/91, EU:C:1993:106, paragraph 36.

  22. 22.

    Judgment of 12 February 2009, Commission v Greece, C-45/07, EU:C:2009:81, paragraph 26.

  23. 23.

    See, inter alia, Opinion of 19 March 1993, ILO Convention, 2/91, EU:C:1993:106, paragraph 38; Opinion of 15 November 1994, WTO, 1/94, EU:C:1994:384, paragraph 108; Opinion of 6 December 2001, Protocole de Cartagena sur la prévention des risques biotechnologiques, 2/00, EU:C:2001:664, paragraph 18; Judgment of 20 April 2010, Commission v Sweden, C-246/07, EU:C:2010:203, paragraph 73; Judgment of 28 April 2015, Commission v Council, C-28/12, EU:C:2015:282, paragraph 54.

  24. 24.

    See in this respect, AG Sharpston Opinion of 21 December 2016, Singapore FTA, 2/15, EU:C:2016:992, paragraph 77, where she observed that the Member States do not act “as a mere appendage of the European Union” in the ratification procedure of mixed agreements while also pointing out that the Member States would continue to be bound—as a matter of EU law—by the areas of the agreement falling under EU competence.

  25. 25.

    Judgment of 20 April 2010, Commission v Sweden, C-246/07, EU:C:2010:203, paragraph 104.

  26. 26.

    Judgment of 2 June 2005, Commission v Luxembourg, C-266/03, EU:C:2005:341, paragraph 60; Judgment of 14 July 2005, Commission v Germany, C-433/03, EU:C:2005:462, paragraph 66.

  27. 27.

    AG Poiares Maduro Opinion of 20 April 2010, Commission v Sweden, C-246/07, EU:C:2009:589, paragraph 57.

  28. 28.

    Opinion of 15 November 1994, WTO, 1/94, EU:C:1994:384, paragraphs 106–107.

  29. 29.

    In this respect, it is noteworthy that “the duty of genuine cooperation is of general application and does not depend either on whether the Union competence concerned is exclusive or on any right of the Member States to enter into obligations towards non-member countries”. See Judgment of 20 April 2010, Commission v Sweden, C-246/07, EU:C:2010:203, paragraph 71; Judgment of 2 June 2005, Commission v Luxembourg, C-266/03, EU:C:2005:341, paragraph 58; Judgment of 14 July 2005, Commission v Germany, C-433/03, EU:C:2005:462, paragraph 64.

  30. 30.

    Judgment of 20 April 2010, Commission v Sweden, C-246/07, EU:C:2010:203, paragraph 102.

  31. 31.

    Judgment of 30 May 2006, Commission v Ireland (Mox Plant), C-459/03, EU:C:2006:345, paragraph 179.

  32. 32.

    Judgment of 2 June 2005, Commission v Luxembourg, C-266/03, EU:C:2005:341, paragraph 60 and Judgment of 14 July 2005, Commission v Germany, C-433/03, EU:C:2005:462, paragraph 66.

  33. 33.

    Judgment of 12 February 2009, Commission v Greece, C-45/07, EU:C:2009:81, paragraph 25 [emphasis added].

  34. 34.

    Ibid. paragraph 26.

  35. 35.

    Regulation (EU) 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products, [2013] OJ L 347/671.

  36. 36.

    Judgment of 5 December 2017, Germany v Council (OTIF), C-600/14, EU:C:2017:935, paragraph 43.

  37. 37.

    Ibid. paragraph 95.

  38. 38.

    Ibid. paragraph 58.

  39. 39.

    Ibid. paragraph 108.

  40. 40.

    Judgment of 7 October 2014, Germany v Council (OIV), C-399/12, EU:C:2014:2258, paragraph 52.

  41. 41.

    The impossibility for the Union to exercise its voting rights under the Stockholm Convention if any of the Member States exercises its right to vote is a clear example of such a situation.

  42. 42.

    See Judgment of 30 May 2006, Commission v Ireland (Mox Plant), C-459/03, EU:C:2006:345, paragraph 176.

References

  • Casolari, F. (2012). The principle of loyal cooperation: A ‘master key’ for EU external representation? (CLEER Working Papers, 2012/5).

    Google Scholar 

  • Constantinescu, V. (1987). L’article 5 CEE, de la bonne foi à la loyauté communautaire. In F. Capotorti et al. (Eds.), Du droit international au droit de l’intégration. Liber Amicorum Pierre Pescatore (pp. 97–114). Baden-Baden: Nomos.

    Google Scholar 

  • Council of the European Union. (2005). Procedural framework for the adoption of Community or common positions for IMO related issues and rules governing their expression in the IMO, SEC (2005) 449, as amended after discussions in the Shipping Working Party of the Council, doc. 11851/05.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cremona, M. (2008). Defending the Community interest: The duties of cooperation and compliance. In M. Cremona & B. De Witte (Eds.), EU foreign relations law. Constitutional fundamentals (pp. 125–169). Oxford: Hart Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cremona, M. (2009). Extending the reach of the AETR principle: Comment on Commission v Greece (C-45/07). European Law Review, 34, 754–768.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cremona, M. (2011). Member States as trustees of the Union interest: Participating in international agreements on behalf of the European Union. In A. Arnull et al. (Eds.), Constitutional order of states. Essays in EU law in honour of Alan Dashwood (pp. 435–457). Oxford: Hart Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • Czuczai, J. (2017). The principle of solidarity in the EU legal order – some practical examples after Lisbon. In J. Czuczai & F. Naert (Eds.), The EU as a global actor – bridging legal theory and practice (pp. 145–165). Leiden: Brill-Nijhoff.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • De Baere, G. (2008). Constitutional principles of EU external relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • De Baere, G. (2011). O, where is faith? O, where is loyalty? Some reflections on the duty of loyal cooperation and the Union’s external environmental competences in the light of the PFOS case. European Law Review, 36, 405–419.

    Google Scholar 

  • Delgado Casteleiro, A., & Larik, J. (2011). The duty to remain silent: Limitless loyalty in EU external relations? European Law Review, 36, 524–541.

    Google Scholar 

  • Govaere, I. (2015). Novel issues pertaining to EU Member States’ membership of other international organisations: The OIV case. In I. Govaere, E. Lannon, P. Van Elsuwege, & S. Adam (Eds.), The European Union in the world. Essays in honour of Marc Maresceau (pp. 225–243). Leiden: Brill-Nijhoff.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hillion, C. (2009). Mixity and coherence in EU external relations: The significance of the duty of cooperation (CLEER Working Papers, 2009/2).

    Google Scholar 

  • Hillion, C. (2012). Cohérence et action extérieure de l’Union. In E. Neframi (Ed.), Objectifs et compétences de l’Union européenne (pp. 229–261). Brussels: Éditions Bruylant/Larcier.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hillion, C. (2014). A powerless court? The European Court of Justice and the Common Foreign and Security Policy. In M. Cremona & A. Thies (Eds.), The European Court of Justice and external relations law: Constitutional challenges (pp. 47–70). Oxford: Hart Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hillion, C., & Wessel, R. (2008). Restraining external competences of the Member States under CFSP. In M. Cremona & B. De Witte (Eds.), EU foreign relations law. Constitutional fundamentals (pp. 79–121). Oxford: Hart Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • Klamert, M. (2014). The principle of loyalty in EU law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Koutrakos, P. (2008). Primary law and policy in EU external relations – moving away from the big picture. European Law Review, 33, 666–686.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lenaerts, K., & Corthaut, T. (2006). Of birds and hedges: The role of primacy in invoking norms of EU law. European Law Review, 31, 287–315.

    Google Scholar 

  • Neframi, E. (2010). The duty of loyalty: Rethinking its scope through its application in the field of EU external relations. Common Market Law Review, 47, 323–359.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reuter, K. (2013). Competence creep via the duty of loyalty? Article 4(3) TEU and its changing role in EU external relations. PhD thesis, European University Institute, Florence.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schütze, R. (2014). Foreign affairs and the EU constitution. Selected essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Tournaye, C. (2014). International organisations soon blocked by EU’s external powers?. Retrieved November 17, 2017, from http://voelkerrechtsblog.com/2014/10/21/international-organizations-soon-blocked-by-eus-external-powers/

  • Van der Loo, G., & Wessel, R. A. (2017). The non-ratification of mixed agreements: Legal consequences and solutions. Common Market Law Review, 54, 735–770.

    Google Scholar 

  • Van Elsuwege, P. (2011). Annotation of Case C-246/07. American Journal of International Law, 105, 307–313.

    Google Scholar 

  • Van Elsuwege P. Upholding the rule of law in the common foreign and security policy: H vs. Council Common Market Law Review. 2017;54:841–58.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Peter Van Elsuwege .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Van Elsuwege, P. (2019). The Duty of Sincere Cooperation and Its Implications for Autonomous Member State Action in the Field of External Relations. In: Varju, M. (eds) Between Compliance and Particularism. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-05782-4_13

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-05782-4_13

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-05781-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-05782-4

  • eBook Packages: Law and CriminologyLaw and Criminology (R0)