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External Relations Law of the European Community by Rass Holdgaard

External Relations Law of the European Community

By Rass Holdgaard


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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 relations; and
  • the reception and application of rules of international law within the Community area, including the way in which international law enters Community law.

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 this construction;
  • 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 configurations.

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.

Resources DM Piece
Last Updated 03/24/2008
Update Frequency As Needed
Product Line Kluwer Law International
ISBN 9789041126047
SKU 10059122-0001
Table of Contents


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.