Legal Issues of Economic Integration

Volume 45 (2018)

Volume 45 (2018) / Issue 2

Philip Hainbach, 'The CJEU’s Opinion 2/15 and the Future of EU Investment Policy and Law-Making' (2018) 45 Legal Issues of Economic Integration, Issue 2, pp. 199–209


On 16 May 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued its Opinion 2/15 on the requisite competence of the European Union to conclude the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) without additional ratification by the Member States’ parliaments. The decision produced implications that extend beyond the specific EU-Singapore relation by defining generally how far the exclusive EU competence of the Common Commercial Policy (CCP) under Article 207(1) TFEU stretches post-Lisbon. By ruling that all EUSFTA subjectmatters except non-direct forms of investments and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) fall within the scope of the CCP, the Court adopted a broad view that grants much leeway to EU institutions in exercising treaty-making powers exclusively.While this was clearly meant to simplify the internal division of competences and strengthen the EU’s role as a credible, reliable and unitary actor in external economic relations, the Case Review will highlight two negative side effects for the future of EU investment policy and law-making. It will argue that the Opinion negatively impacts the EU’s ability to use its unitary political weight to continue shaping the reformation of international investment law and incentivizes a discontinuation of concluding contemporary trade and investment issues jointly together in one comprehensive economic agreement.

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ISSN: 1566-6573
ID: LEIE2018010