The External Administrative Layer of EU Law-making: International Decisions in EU Law and the Case of CETA

Printer-friendly version

Table of Contents: I. The international regulation of public goods: legal challenges. – II. International decisions by CETA bodies. – III. Decisions of international bodies: a source of EU law. – IV. The external administrative layer of EU law. – IV.1. Interpretative effects: validating EU law. – IV.2. Authoritative international decisions. – IV.3. A next step for interpretative effects? – IV.4. Validating, but not invalidating EU law. – V. Strong in substance, weak in procedure. – VI. The EU Treaty procedure. – VII. The CETA bodies making EU law.

Abstract: The legal status of binding and non-binding international decisions adopted by global regulatory bodies in EU law, their authority (as acknowledged in the case law of the CJEU) and legal effects allow one to characterise them as the external administrative layer of EU law-making. Mega-regional agreements, of which the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is an instance, have the potential to expand this tier of law. This Article maps the substantive legal effects of international decisions in EU law as expounded by the CJEU, arguing that the case law the Court developed is transposable to future decisions of CETA bodies. Furthermore, it contrasts their possible substantive impact in EU law with the weaknesses of procedural controls over the exercise of public authority by those bodies.

Keywords: global regulatory regimes – international decisions – public authority – non-binding acts – procedures – CETA.

European Papers, Vol. 2, 2017, No 2, pp. 489-517
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/166

* Professor of Comparative Administrative Law, University of Luxembourg,


European Forum


Forum Européen


Forum europeo


Foro Europeo