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External Relations Law of the European Community begins by noting two
common characteristics of legal analyses in the field of EU external
relations. First, most legal analyses assume that EC external relations law
cannot be studied or applied without a constant awareness of the underlying
political dynamics. Yet, the same analyses fail to explain how these
‘dynamics’ are to be understood, assessed and systematically applied.
This pragmatic outlook reduces the importance and value of a self-reflective,
rational and coherent legal language.
Second, most legal analyses tend to focus only on narrow segments of the ECJ’s
case law, often taking as their points of departure individual cases or a
group of topically related cases.
This ‘commentary’ approach disregards the general inter-connectedness of legal
structures and the recurring meaning configurations in the field.
Against this backdrop, the author sets out to strengthen the legal language –
both theoretically and practically - in the field of EC external relations:
The first two parts of the book provide, with extensive references, an
in-depth legal analysis of a wide range of topics pertaining to:
the distribution between the EC and the Member States of norm-setting
authority in their external relations, i.e. the rules that determine what the
EC and the Member States can do (individually or together) in international
the reception and application of rules of international law within the
Community area, including the way in which international law enters Community
In these parts of the book, the aim is to reconstruct the core areas of the
Community’s external relations law in a coherent and systematic manner.
In the third part of the book, the author develops and applies a theoretical
and methodological framework inspired by discourse analysis. This novel
approach is used to identify and describe some of the most significant legal
discourses in EC external relations.
This part of the book provides – from an orthodox lawyer’s perspective - an
accessible account of a number of theoretical and analytical issues, including:
the social construction of law and legal reasoning, the role of discourses in
basic building blocks for a discourse analysis in law; and
how to integrate discourse analysis and discourse analytical insights into an
orthodox legal analysis with a view to bring out the restraints and
possibilities in various strands of legal reasoning and legal meaning
From a number of new perspectives, the study analyzes some of the most central
and durable legal doctrines in EC external relations law, and shows how the
construction of these doctrines affects the future development of this area of
law. In this way, the book provides new knowledge about topics that continue
to be at the heart of debates concerning the EU’s external dimension.
1. Introduction .
Part I. 2. The Dual Federal Perspective. 3. The Community’s
Express External Relations Authority. 4. The Community’s Implied
External Relations Authority. 5. Restraints on the Community’s Exercise
of External Competence. 6. Exclusion of Member States’ External
Competence. 7. Restraints on Member States’ Exercise of External
Competence. 8. Mixed Agreements before the ECJ.
Part II. 9. The Community’s International Law Filter. 10.
General Principles of Reception: Kupferberg and Racke. 11. The Legal
Consequence of Reception: The Requirement of Uniform Application. 12.
Reception of International Law (II): Alternatives. 13. Conclusions to
Chapters 10–12 and Introduction to Chapters 14–16. 14. A
Framework for Direct Invocability. 15. The Substantive Analysis of
International Agreements’ Direct Invocability. 16. Other Effects
of International Law.
Part III. 17. Social Constructivism and Discourse Analysis. 18.
Analytical Tools for a Discourse Analysis in EC External Relations Law. 19.
Legal Discourses in EC External Relations. 20. Legal Analysis in EC
External Relations Law. 21. Analysing the Direction and Reach of EC
External Relations Law. 22. Conclusions. Table of Cases (Numerical).
Bibliography. Table of abbreviations. Index.