Joint EUglobal – City Law School workshop: "The European Union’s External Action and International Law: A View From the Outside"

The City Law School, International Law and Affairs Group (ILAG) and the ESIL Interest Group on the EU as a Global Actor invite submissions of abstracts for a workshop on ‘The European Union’s External Action and International Law: A View From the Outside’. The workshop will take place at the City Law School, City, University of London, on 12 June 2020.

Workshop Theme:
How is the European Union and its external action viewed from the ‘outside’? As the European Union’s external action continues to expand and evolve, this raises ever more questions about how such practice fits within the state-centric system of international law.

Some practices in the EU’s external action have been criticised as examples of ‘European exceptionalism’, in which the EU receives exceptions from its international partners. The use of disconnection clauses in international agreements; the EU’s insistence that the autonomy of the EU legal order be preserved in dispute settlement bodies; the practice of concluding mixed agreements; among others, have raised concerns for the EU’s external partners. In these instances, the EU seeks certain exceptions under international law to take account the EU’s internal law. The EU’s external action has also attracted certain criticism from international lawyers who have pointed to fields of EU action may contravene international law.

While much of this has been considered from the ‘internal’ perspective, especially by EU law experts, there has been less reflection on how the EU and its external action is viewed from the ‘outside’. This event understands ‘outside’ as a broad term to include opinions and approaches from outside the EU geographically, but also in terms of academic discipline. It may also involve critical and non-Western approaches to the understanding the EU’s external action. The event aims to open up the study of the EU’s external action to outside reactions and perspectives.

We invite abstracts on the general theme of workshop. Issues may include

  • How is the EU’s external action viewed from the perspective of public international law? What practices in the EU’s external action give rise to particular problems for the EU and its international partners?
  • How is the EU viewed from the perspective of other international bodies, such as international organizations and international dispute settlement bodies? What kinds of tensions does this give rise to in EU law and international law?
  • Which practices of the EU give rise to particular problems from an international law perspective? Does the EU’s action in the field of trade, sanctions, migration, human rights and so on, invite criticism for failure to observe international law?
  • What can other disciplines outside of EU law, such as international law, or critical and non-Western approaches, bring to the study of the EU and its external action?
  • What are the views of the EU and its external action from particular geographical regions?

The abstracts should contain a one-page (500 words max.) description of the proposed paper and are to be accompanied by a CV of the author/s. The abstracts are to be sent to Ramses Wessel (r.a.wessel@rug.nl) and Jed Odermatt (Jed.Odermatt@city.ac.uk) by 15 February 2020. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 March 2020.

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