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EU membership of the WTO: International trade disputes and judicial protection of individuals by EU Courts

  • ANNE THIES (a1)

Abstract

The European Union (EU) is embedded in a pluralistic legal context because of the EU and its Member States’ treaty memberships and domestic laws. Where EU conduct has implications for both the EU’s international trade relations and the legal position of individual traders, it possibly affects EU and its Member States’ obligations under the law of the World Trade Organization (WTO law) as well as the Union’s own multi-layered constitutional legal order. The present paper analyses the way in which the European Court of Justice (ECJ) accommodates WTO and EU law in the context of international trade disputes triggered by the EU. Given the ECJ’s denial of direct effect of WTO law in principle, the paper focuses on the protection of rights and remedies conferred by EU law. It assesses the implications of the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) – which tolerates the acceptance of retaliatory measures constraining traders’ activities in sectors different from those subject to the original trade dispute (Bananas and Hormones cases) – for the protection of ‘retaliation victims’. The paper concludes that governmental discretion conferred by WTO law has not affected the applicability of EU constitutional law but possibly shapes the actual scope of EU rights and remedies where such discretion is exercised in the EU’s general interest.

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1 McCorquodale, R, ‘The Individual and the International Legal System’ in Evans, M (ed), International Law (3rd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010) 284310, 289 ff, 291 ff.

2 Unless otherwise specified, this paper refers to ‘individuals’ as comprising both natural and legal persons. While some of the rights, remedies or duties addressed might be more relevant for either natural or legal persons, their legal status within the international and the EU constitutional legal orders discussed here is conceptually comparable and can thus be assessed within the same analysis.

3 For a discussion of the trend ‘towards individualized law-enforcement’ and examples of the enforcement in international fora see Peters, A, ‘Membership in the Global Constitutional Community’ in Klabbers, J, Peters, A and Ulfstein, G, The Constitutionalization of International Law (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009), 153262, 161–6.

4 With regard to the implications of international human rights treaties see Ahmed, T and de Jesús Butler, I, ‘The European Union and Human Rights: An International Law Perspective’ (2006) 17(4) European Journal of International Law 771801.

5 Lock, T, ‘Walking on a Tightrope: The Draft Accession Agreement and the Autonomy of the EU Legal Order’ (2011) 48(4) Common Market Law Review 1025–54; Jacqué, JP, ‘The Accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms’ (2011) 48(4) Common Market Law Review 9951023.

6 For a discussion of constitutional pluralism in the context of European integration see Avbelj, M and Komárek, J (eds), ‘Four Visions of Constitutional Pluralism: Symposium Transcript’ (2008) 2(1) European Journal of Legal Studies 325–70.

7 Berman, PS, ‘Global Legal Pluralism’ (2007) 80(6) Southern California Law Review 11551238, 1167 ff.

8 See e.g. climate change measures that the EU can take under the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, OJ 2002 L 130/1 and 130/4 (UNTS, vol 2303, 148) – see in this context also Advocate General Kokott who recognized in her Opinion of 6 October 2011 in C-366/10, The Air Transport Association of America and Others (nyr), para 82, ‘that some of the measures taken will be onerous for individuals’, even though she considered ‘effects such as these [to be] only indirect’.

9 Berman, , ‘Global Legal Pluralism’ (n 7) 1179.

10 According to art 216(2) Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), international agreements concluded by the Union are binding upon the institutions of the Union and on its Member States. For a detailed discussion of the jurisprudence on the courts and international agreements and the effects of international law in the EU legal order see Eeckhout, P, EU External Relations Law (2nd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011) 267436.

11 For an analysis of global administrative law as an alternative to domestic models for ensuring accountability in the circumstances of global governance see Krisch, N, ‘The Pluralism of Global Administrative Law’ (2006) 17(1) European Journal of International Law 247–78.

12 See also C Eckes, ‘Individuals in a Pluralist World: The Implications of Counterterrorist Sanctions’ (2013) 2(2)Global Constitutionalism Special Issue.

13 See in particular European Communities – Measures Concerning Meat and Meat Products (Hormones), WT/DS26, WT/DS48, WT/DS320, WT/DS321; and European Communities – Regime for the Importation, Sale and Distribution of Bananas (Bananas), WT/DS27. For a more comprehensive study of EU liability in the context of international trade disputes see Thies, A, International Trade Disputes and EU Liability (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2013).

14 See art 207 TFEU. For detailed commentary on [now] art 207 TFEU, Bierwagen, R in Smit, H, Herzog, P, Campbell, C and Zagel, G (eds), Smit & Herzog on The Law of the European Union, Vol 3, Rel10-9/2010 Pub 623; MJ Hahn, Commentary on Article 207 TFEU in Callies, C and Ruffert, M (eds), EUV/AEUV (4th edn, CH Beck, Munich, 2011), 2016–87.

15 See art 47 Treaty on European Union (TEU). For detailed commentary on art 281 EC on the legal personality of the European Community [now replaced by art 47 TEU concerning the EU], Zagel, G in Smit, H, Herzog, P, Campbell, P and Zagel, G (eds), Smit & Herzog on The Law of the European Union, vol 4, Rel10-9/2010 Pub 623.

16 See art 13 ff TEU for the provisions on Union institutions.

17 Council Decision 94/800/EC of 22 December 1994, OJ 1994 L 336/1.

18 Art XI(1) of the WTO Agreement.

19 See (n 14). For a general overview on ‘the EU and the WTO’ see <http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-opportunities/eu-and-wto/index_en.htm>.

20 See (n 15). The EU has already been complainant of disputes with Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, India, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Thailand and the US. The EU has already been respondent of disputes with Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Peru, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei), Thailand, US and Uruguay. See disputes by country on <www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/dispu_by_country_e.htm> and <http://trade.ec.europa.eu/wtodispute/search.cfm?code=1 and code=2>.

22 Ibid; see for the legal basis of this authorization art 22(2) and (3) DSU.

23 See Notice of the USTR of 19 April 1999 published in the Federal Register 64 Fed Reg 19,209 (1999), announcing in the Annex final product list in Bananas dispute (products included: bath preparations, handbags, wallets and similar articles, felt paper and paperboard boxes, lithographs, bed linen, batteries and coffee or tea makers); Notice of the USTR of 27 July 1999 published in the Federal Register 64 Fed Reg 40,638 (1999), announcing in the Annex final product list in Hormones dispute (products included: pork, Roquefort cheese, onions, truffles, dried carrots, liver of goose, fruit juice, chicory, mustard).

24 See T Isiksel, ‘Global Legal Pluralism as Fact and Norm’, (2013) 2(2)Global Constitutionalism Special Issue, who describes global legal pluralism as a condition where ‘a given set of actions may be governed by an assortment of legal systems or by none at all’, p 171.

25 Different view held by Petersmann, E-U, ‘The WTO Constitution and Human Rights’; (2000) 3(1) Journal of International Economic Law 1925.

26 According to the DSU, only Members (states) can request for consultations and seek the establishment of a panel, etc; see e.g. arts 4 and 6 DSU.

27 See for a discussion of international judicial bodies’ dealing with norm conflicts between human rights and other ‘sub-regimes of public international law’ the contribution to this symposium publication by E de Wet and J Vidmar, ‘Conflicts between International Paradigms: Hierarchy versus Systemic Integration’, (2013) 2(2)Global Constitutionalism Special Issue.

28 C-120 and 121/06 P, FIAMM et al. [2008] ECR I-6513.

29 According to art 268 TFEU, ‘[t]he Court of Justice of the European Union shall have jurisdiction in disputes relating to compensation for damage provided for in the second and third paragraphs of Article 340’.

30 According to art 340(2) TFEU, ‘the Union shall, in accordance with the general principles common to the laws of the Member States, make good any damage caused by its institutions or by its servants in the performance of their duties’.

31 See for notification of actions e.g. T-69/00, Fiamm et al., OJ 2000 C 135/30; T-151/00, Le Laboratoire du Bain, OJ 2000 C 247/54; T-301/00, Groupe Fremaux, OJ 2000 C 355/32; T-320/00, CD Cartondruck, OJ 2000 C 355/39; T-383/00, Beamglow, OJ 2001 C 61/21; Giorgio Fedon et al., OJ 2001 C-275/10.

32 Established case law since C-181/73, Haegeman v Belgian State [1974] ECR 449, para 4 ff; Case 104/81, Kupferberg [1982] ECR 3641, para 13; Case 12/86, Meryem Demirel v Stadt Schwäbisch Gmünd [1987] ECR 3719, para 7; C-344/04, IATA and ELFAA [2006] ECR I-403, para 36; C-459/03, Commission v Ireland [2006] ECR I-4635, para 82; C-431/05, Merck Genéricos – Produtos Farmacêuticos Lda v Merck & Co Inc., Merck Sharp & Dohme Lda [2007] ECR I-7001, para 31; C-240/09, Lesoochranárske zoskupenie [2011] ECR I-1255, para 58. See also art 216(2) TFEU (n 10).

33 See for an evaluation of FIAMM in this respect M Bronckers, ‘From ‘‘Direct Effect’’ to ‘‘Muted Dialogue’’’ (2008) 11 Journal of International Economic Law 885–98. See also e.g. Eeckhout, P, ‘The Domestic Legal Status of the WTO Agreement: Interconnecting Legal Systems’ (1997) 34 Common Market Law Review 1158; Bronckers, M, ‘The Relationship of the EC Courts with Other International Tribunals: Non-committal, Respectful or Submissive?’ (2007) 44 Common Market Law Review 601–27; Jackson, J, ‘Direct Effect of Treaties in the U.S. and the EU, the Case of the WTO: Some Perceptions and Proposals’ in Arnull, A, Eeckhout, P and Tridimas, T (eds), Continuity and Change: Essays in Honour of Sir Francis Jacobs (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008) 361–82.

34 Cases 21-24/72, International Fruit Company et al. [1972] ECR 1219, paras 7, 8, 18–28. Case 9/73, Schlüter [1973] ECR 1135, paras 27–30; Case 266/81, Società Italiana [1983] ECR 731, para 28; Cases 267 to 269/81, SPI and SAMI [1983] ECR 801, paras 23 and 31; C-280/93, Germany v Council (Bananas) [1993] ECR I-4973, paras 105–112; C-469/93, Chiquita [1995] ECR I-4533, paras 24–29.

35 C-149/96, Portugal v Council [1999] ECR I-8395, paras 40 ff; C-377/98, Netherlands v Parliament and Council [2001] ECR I-7079.

36 Joined Cases C-27/00 and C-122/00, Omega Air and Others [2002] ECR I-2569, paras 89 ff; Joined Cases C-300/98 and C-392/98, Dior [2000] ECR I-11307; Order in Case C-307/99, OGT Fruchthandelsgesellschaft mbH v Hauptzollamt Hamburg-St. Annen [2001] ECR I-3159; C-93/02, Biret International SA v Council [2003] ECR I-10497; C-377/02, Van Parys [2005] ECR I-1465; and several judgments of the GC, such as T-174/00, Biret International SA v Council [2002] ECR II-17, para 61.

37 C-149/96, Portugal (n 35), para 46; C-120 and 121/06 P, FIAMM et al. (n 28), para 116.

38 C-149/96, Portugal (n 35), paras 43 ff; C-120 and 121/06 P, FIAMM et al. (n 28), para 130. For an overview of the effect of WTO law on the rights and remedies of individuals in the USA, Japan and Canada, see Thies (n 13), ch 6, s 6.1.3.

39 Recently confirmed in C-120 and 121/06 P, FIAMM et al. (n 28), paras 117, 130. See also C-149/96, Portugal (n 35), para 40; C-377/02, Van Parys (n 36), paras 48, 51 ff. Four weeks before the same conclusion was reached by the GC in T-19/01, Chiquita [2005] ECR II-315, in the context of an action for damages; according to the GC, ‘the DSU does not establish a mechanism for the judicial resolution of international disputes by means of decisions with binding effects comparable with those of a court decision in the internal legal systems of the Member States’ (para 162), and since members had, even after the expiry of the implementation period and measures under art 22 DSU, ‘place for negotiation’ (para 164) ‘[t]he Community judicature cannot … review the legality of the Community measures in question without depriving Article 21.6 of the DSU of its effectiveness’ (para 166). See for a comment Lavranos, N, ‘The Chiquita and Van Parys Judgments: An Exception to the Rule of Law’ (2005) Legal Issues of Economic Integration 449–60; Steinbach, A, ‘Zur Rechtswirkung von WTO-Streitbeilegungsentscheidungen in der Gemeinschaftsrechtsordnung’ (2005) EuZW 331–5.

40 T-18/99, Cordis Obst und Gemüse Großhandel v Commission [2001] ECR II-913; T-30/99, Bocchi Food Trade International v Commission [2001] ECR II-943; T-52/99, T. Port GmbH & Co KG v Commission [2001] ECR II-981; T-3/99, Bananatrading v Council [2001] ECR II-2123; C-377/02, Van Parys (n 36); T-174/00, Biret (n 36).

41 The applicant Chiquita was based in the USA, see T-19/01, Chiquita (n 39).

42 T-69/00, FIAMM and FIAMM Technologies [2005] ECR II-5393; T-151/00, Le Laboratoire du Bain [2005] ECR II-23*; T-301/00, Fremaux [2005] ECR II-25*; T-320/00, CD Cartondruck AG [2005] ECR II-27*; T-383/00, Beamglow Ltd [2005] ECR II-5459; T-135/01, Giorgio Fedon & Figli S.p.A., Fedon S.r.l. and Fedon America USA Inc. [2005] ECR II-29*; see for comment and analysis of these cases Haack, S A, ‘Grundsätzliche Anerkennung der außervertraglichen Haftung der EG für rechtmäßiges Verhalten nach Art. 288 Abs. 2 EG’ (2006) Europarecht 696705; Schmauch, M, ‘Non-Compliance with WTO Law by the European Community: Neither Unlawful Conduct Nor Unusual Damage’ (2006) European Law Reporter 98101; Thies, A, Case Note (2006) 43 Common Market Law Review 1145–68; C-120 and 121/06, FIAMM et al. (n 28), para 133; see for comment and analysis in this respect Bronckers, ‘From ‘‘Direct Effect’’ to ‘‘Muted Dialogue’’’ (n 33).

43 Art 268 TFEU (n 29).

44 Art 263 TFEU.

45 See e.g. C-93/02, Biret (n 36), and C-377/02, Van Parys (n 36); this has been confirmed by the GC in T-69/00, FIAMM (n 42), AG Maduro in his Opinion of 20 February 2008, paras 25 ff, 30 ff, and the ECJ in C-120 and 121/06, FIAMM et al. (n 28), paras 111, 120 ff, 133.

46 First held in C-149/96, Portugal (n 35), para 46 ff; recently confirmed in C-120 and 121/06, FIAMM et al. (n 28), paras 119 ff.

47 See e.g. C-377/02, Van Parys (n 36), paras 51, 53; T-19/01, Chiquita (n 39), paras 161 ff; AG Léger in C-351/04, Ikea Wholesale Ltd [2007] ECR I-7723, para 96; C-120 and 121/06, FIAMM et al. (n 28), para 130. See also Cottier, T, ‘Dispute Settlement in the World Trade Organization: Characteristics and Structural Implications for the European Union’ (1998) 35 Common Market Law Review 325–78, 374; T Cottier, ‘A Theory of Direct Effect in Global Law’ in von Bogdandy, A, Mavroidis, P and Mény, Y (eds), European Integration and International Co-ordination Studies in Transnational Economic Law in Honour of Claus-Dieter Ehlermann (Kluwer Law International, The Hague, 2002), 99123, 111 ff.

48 Thies, A, ‘The Impact of General Principles of EC Law on its Liability Regime towards Retaliation Victims after FIAMM’ (2009) European Law Review 889913, 892 ff.

49 According to art 264 TFEU, the Court declares measures that have been successfully challenged in an annulment action (or preliminary ruling) void; Art 266 TFEU imposes an obligation on the institution or institutions whose act has been declared void to take the necessary measures to comply with the Court’s judgment. See also Kuijper, P-J in Kuijper, P-J and Bronckers, M, ‘WTO Law in the European Court of Justice’ (2005) 42 Common Market Law Review 1313–55, 1335; Thies, A, ‘Biret and beyond: The Status of WTO Rulings in EC Law’ (2004) 41 Common Market Law Review 1661–82.

50 AG Maduro in C-120 and 121/06, FIAMM et al. (n 28), para 49; according to Maduro, the political institutions would misconceive the rule of law in the [EU] legal order (‘méconnaitre le principe d’une communauté de droit’) if they upheld the [EU] measure despite the Court’s decision of it being unlawful. Without further explanation Maduro concludes that there is an obligation for the EU institutions concerned to end the unlawfulness.

51 C-120 and 121/06 P, FIAMM et al. (n 28), paras 122, 123, 124.

52 C-120 and 121/06 P, FIAMM et al. (n 28), para 121, with reference to prior case law.

53 Compare e.g. Tridimas, T, The General Principles of EU Law (2nd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006) 480. Interestingly, however, it seems that AG Maduro does not in principle consider the pressure on the institutions because of financial threat prohibiting the Courts to grant compensation as he is in favour of liability in the absence of unlawfulness to improve good governance and conscientious decision-making of the institutions; see AG Maduro in C-120 and 121/06, FIAMM et al. (n 28), para 49, and discussion Thies (n 48) at notes 114 ff.

54 Which national courts assess (procedural autonomy) in the light of EU law where Member States act within the EU legal order allegedly causing damage for individuals (principles of equivalence and effectiveness); see Craig, P and De Búrca, G, EU Law: Text, Cases and Materials (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011), 241–54, 251 ff.

55 Joined Cases C-6/90 and C-9/90, Francovich [1991] ECR I-5357; C-224/01, Köbler [2003] ECR I-10239.

56 For further discussion of this parallelism see Schoißwohl, B, ‘Haftung der Gemeinschaft’ (2001) ZEuS 689730, 700 ff; see for a comment on the Francovich decision and its effect on liability rules: Van Gerven, W, ‘Non-Contractual Liability of Member States, Community Institutions and Individuals for Breaches of Community Law with a View to a Common Law for Europe’ (1994) Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law 640.

57 C-352/98 P, Laboratoires Pharmaceutiques Bergaderm and Goupil v Commission [2000] ECR I-5291.

58 The ECJ referred to the Treaty having established ‘a complete system of legal remedies and procedures designed to ensure judicial review of the legality of acts of the institutions’, which is to be provided by the EU and its Member States’ courts; see C-50/00, Unión de Pequeños Agricultores v Council [2002] ECR I-677, para 40.

59 See for reference to the notifications of action (n 31).

60 C-120 and 121/06, FIAMM et al. (n 28), paras 180 ff.

61 See above section WTO membership, international trade disputes triggered by the EU and their consequences for the different dimensions of EU conduct in international trade disputes.

62 T-69/00, FIAMM. (n 42), para 146; see also discussion below (n 77).

63 According to art 19 TEU, the EU Courts have to ensure that in the interpretation and application of the Treaties the law is observed.

64 See art 263(1) TFEU.

65 See art 267(1) TFEU.

66 See art 268 TFEU; above n 29.

67 See for discussion of general principles serving as aid to interpretation Tridimas (n 53) 29 ff.

68 See for discussion of general principles being invoked as grounds of review under [now] arts 263 and 267 TFEU, Tridimas (n 53) 31 ff.

69 See for a more detailed discussion of the impact of general principles on EU liability Thies (n 48) 889–913.

70 See e.g. C-352/98 P, Laboratoires Pharmaceutiques Bergaderm (n 57), paras 41–43.

71 Compare discussion of Tridimas (n 53) 477 ff; Ward, A, Judicial Review and the Rights of Private Parties in EU Law (2nd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007) 391 ff.

72 See e.g for the principle of non-discrimination Joined Cases 83 and 94/76, 4, 15 and 40/77, HNL [1978] ECR 1209, paras 5, 6; the right to property, the principles of non-discrimination, of equality, and of proportionality, Case 281/84, Zuckerfabrik Bedburg [1987] ECR 49; the principles of legal certainty and legitimate expectations, Case 74/74, CNTA v Commission [1975] CR 533; the misuse of powers, C-119/88, AERPO v Commission [1990] ECR I-2189.

73 T-481/93 and 484/93, Vereniging van Exporteurs v Commission [1995] ECR II-2941, paras 102 ff, with reference to further case law dealing with those principles.

74 Tridimas (n 53) 35, 488 ff. This replacement took place in C-352/98 P, Laboratoires Pharmaceutiques Bergaderm (n 57), where the ECJ replaced the Schöppenstedt formula (Case 5/71, Aktien-Zuckerfabrik Schöppenstedt v Council [1971] ECR 975, para 11) in order to harmonize the conditions of state and EU liability.

75 See e.g. art 16 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, according to which ‘[t]he freedom to conduct a business in accordance with Union law and national laws and practices is recognised’, art 17(1), which states that ‘[e]veryone has the right to own, use, dispose of and bequeath his or her lawfully acquired possessions. No one may be deprived of his or her possessions, except in the public interest and in the cases and under the conditions provided for by law, subject to fair compensation being paid in good time for their loss’, and art 47 that states that ‘[e]veryone whose rights and freedoms guaranteed by the law of the Union are violated has the right to an effective remedy before a tribunal in compliance with the conditions laid down in this Article’.

76 Lenaerts, K, Van Nuffel, P and Bray, R, Constitutional Law of the European Union (2nd edn, Thomson and Sweet & Maxwell, London, 2005) 711 ff. See also C-120 and 121/06, FIAMM et al. (n 28), para 182.

77 T-69/00, FIAMM (n 42), para 146; with regard to the principle of proportionality see T-383/00, Beamglow (n 42), para 162; with regard to the principle of non-discrimination see T-151/00, Le Laboratoire du Bain (n 42), para 137, T-301/00, Fremaux (n 42), para 137, and T-320/00, Cartondruck (n 42), para 142.

78 See C-308/06, Intertanko [2008] ECR I-4057, paras 69 ff.

79 Joined Cases C-402/05 P and C-415/05 P, Yassin Abdullah Kadi and Al Barakaat International Foundation v Council [2008] ECR I-6351, Opinion of AG Maduro, paras 28, 40.

80 Joined Cases C-402/05 P and C-415/05 P, Kadi et al. (n 79), paras 348 ff.

81 Ibid para 316.

82 Ibid paras 326, 281 ff.

83 Ibid para 361.

84 C-120 and 121/06, FIAMM et al. (n 28), para 176.

85 Ibid paras 180 ff.

86 Ibid para 180.

87 Ibid para 181.

88 Ibid para 182.

89 Ibid paras 183, 186.

90 Ibid para 184.

91 Ibid para 185, with reference to C-280/93, Germany v Council (n 34), para 79, and C-295/03 P, Alessandrini and Others v Commission [2005] ECR I-5673, para 88.

92 Ibid para 185, with reference to Case 4/73, Nold v Commission [1974] ECR 491, para 14.

93 Ibid para 186.

94 Art 22(8) DSU; Eeckhout, , ‘The Domestic Legal Status of the WTO Agreement’ (n 33) 55; Advocate General Alber in his Opinion in C-93/02 P, Biret (n 36), para 88; Thies (n 49) 1672; M Bronckers in Kuijper and Bronckers, ‘WTO Law in the European Court of Justice’, 1342 ff.

95 See e.g. C-104/97 P, Atlanta v European Community [1999] ECR I-6983, para 55.

96 See above section on ‘WTO law and rulings as a source of rights and remedies before the EU Courts’.

97 See for a discussion of EU discretion being shaped also by international law, Thies (n 13) 64 ff, and 112 ff.

98 See also art 1 of Protocol 12 of the ECHR, according to which the EU might be obliged to redistribute the costs of an international trade dispute in a similar way to the exercise of discretionary power when granting subsidies; see for a discussion of this art, Tridimas (n 53) 73 ff.

99 According to the GC, ‘[t]he unilateral decision by [the other WTO member] to impose increased customs duty on imports … originating in the [EU] is not … such as to break the causal link that exists between the damage which the imposition of that increased duty caused to the applicants and the defendants’ retention of the banana import regime at issue. … [The conduct of the EU institutions] must be regarded as the immediate cause of the damage suffered’, T-69/00, FIAMM (n 42), paras 184 and 185. On appeal, the ECJ was not required to address the issue after having denied the basis for any right to compensation in the present context, see C-120 and 121/06, FIAMM et al. (n 28), para 190. See for more detailed discussion of the causal link in this context Thies (n 13) 121 ff.

100 Art 265 TFEU.

101 Joined Cases C-402/05 P and C-415/05 P, Kadi et al. (n 79), para 283; Compare Reinisch, A, ‘Entschädigung für die unbeteiligten “Opfer” des Hormon- und Bananenstreites’ (2000) Europäische Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsrecht 4251, 44.

102 See above section WTO membership, international trade disputes triggered by the EU and their consequences.

103 T-69/00, FIAMM (n 42), paras 157 ff, 205, 211.

104 C-120 and 121/06, FIAMM et al. (n 28), para 179. See for a critique of this decision and the principle’s potential role in the context of international trade disputes Thies (n 13) ch 5.

105 C-414/08 P, Sviluppo Italia Basilicata SpA [2010] ECR I-2559, para 141. See M Gellermann, ‘Art. 340 AEUV’, para 25, in R Streinz, EUV/AEUV (2nd edn, CH Beck, Munich, 2012), 2661–79, 2670.

106 C Eckes, ‘Individuals in a pluralist world: The implications of counterterrorist sanctions’, (2013) 2(2)Global Constitutionalism Special Issue, p 219.

107 See (n 100) for the possible necessity to bring an action under art 265 TFEU.

108 Arnull, A, ‘The Principle of Effective Judicial Protection in EU law: An Unruly Horse?’ (2011) 36(1) European Law Review 5170.

109 For arguments brought forward by the applicants see e.g. T-69/00, FIAMM (n 42), para 94, and T-320/00, Cartondruck (n 42), para 89 (impairment of the rights’ substance through retaliation); T-383/00, Beamglow (n 42), paras 103 ff (EU’s possibilities to avoid damage/paying costs for EU ignoring international obligations). For arguments brought forward by the defendant institutions see e.g. T-320/00, Cartondruck (n 42), para 93, and T-383/00, Beamglow (n 42), para 112 (no EU interference, merely US suspension of concessions); T-320/00, Cartondruck (n 42), para 94, and T-69/00, FIAMM (n 42), para 98 (not close to expropriation/impairing substance of right, if interference/necessity to modify business planning justified by market interests).

110 C-120 and 121/06, FIAMM et al. (n 28), para 183, with reference to Case 265/87, Schräder HS Kraftfutter [1989] ECR 2237, para 15; C-280/93, Germany v Council (n 34), para 78; C-295/03 P, Alessandrini (n 91), para 86.

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EU membership of the WTO: International trade disputes and judicial protection of individuals by EU Courts

  • ANNE THIES (a1)

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