Free Trade Agreements after the Treaty of Lisbon in the Light of the Case Law of the Court of Justice of the European Union


European Law Journal

November 2014, vol. 20, n°6, pp.749-762

Departments: Tax & Law, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are increasingly employed by the European Union (EU) as a tool of its internal market and external relations policy. This article addresses the evolution of FTAs through the jurisprudential lens of the Court of Justice of the EU. To this end, and after clarifying key constitutional issues (competence, substance and hierarchy), it discusses the Court's case-law on the direct effect of certain measures, and addresses a selection of cross-functional questions regarding the interpretation of material law founded in the Court's case-law. As a matter of general tendency, the jurisprudence takes a rather liberal stance in recognising direct effects of FTAs concerning analogical interpretation of economic freedom. By contrast, a more restrictive approach appears to have been applied to the interpretation of provisions having an impact on the possibility of third states' citizens to reside in the EU