The EU has entered into many binding undertakings (international agreements) with third States on access to fisheries resources. In the Venezuelan Fisheries case, the ECJ was, for the first time, confronted with an EU unilateral declaration granting fishing opportunities in EU waters to Venezuela-flagged vessels. We argue, contrary to ECJ’s conclusion, that the declaration is a binding unilateral act and not an international agreement. This case is important for the burgeoning debate on the ECJ’s approach to international law. It represents a missed opportunity for the ECJ to clarify its previous case-law on the broad concept of ‘international agreement’ and align it with relevant international jurisprudence and doctrine. More fundamentally, it is a missed opportunity for the ECJ to truly develop and shape international law practice and doctrine on unilateral acts by international organisations – an omission that does not comport with the EU’s self-projection as an internationally engaged polity.
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Kassoti & Vatsov: A Missed Opportunity? Unilateral Declarations by the European Union and the European Court of Justice’s Venezuelan Fisheries Judgment
Eva Kassoti (T.M.C. Asser Instituut) & Mihail Vatsov (Univ. of Edinburgh) have posted A Missed Opportunity? Unilateral Declarations by the European Union and the European Court of Justice’s Venezuelan Fisheries Judgment (International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law, forthcoming). Here's the abstract: