The Influence of International Organisations on the EU and Its Legal Order: Between Autonomy and Dependence

  • Steven Blockmans
  • Ramses A. Wessel


The concluding chapter of this book recapitulates the conceptual frameworks, theoretical underpinnings and empirical evidence of the intense legal interactions between the EU and a representative body of international institutions. The result is testimony to the coming of age of the European Union as a polity. The editors adopt the argument that the Court of Justice’s recently displayed attitude towards the reception of international law in the EU legal order forms an impediment to meeting the EU’s constitutional duties in its relations with the wider world, most notably full respect for international law, whether this emanates from international organisations with legal personality or less institutionalised international regimes. If the Court is serious about its own claim that the Union constitutes an entity with distinct constitutional features, it should be prepared to translate this into a policy of deference towards external norms. Whereas the consequence of such a modern, liberal approach would amount to less “autonomy” for the EU and its legal order under international law, the European Union, as such, would become a more mature actor on the global stage and—in the mid to longer term—offer its Member States, citizens, natural and legal persons the opportunity to reap more benefits from its “openness” to the world.


International Monetary Fund World Trade Organization Legal Order World Intellectual Property Organization North Atlantic Treaty Organization 
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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press and the author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Centre for European Policy StudiesBrusselsBelgium

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