Sunday, 1 February 2009

EU Law: International development cooperation

Cooperation with third countries and international organisations is one aspect of he European Community’s (European Union’s) action to promote global development.


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Current treaty

Article 181 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC) provides for cooperation and agreements with third countries. The member states retain their powers to act on the international arena and to conclude international agreements.

Article 181 TEC, as published in the latest consolidated version of the treaties in force, OJEU 29.12.2006 C 321 E/127:


Article 181 TEC

Within their respective spheres of competence, the Community and the Member States shall cooperate with third countries and with the competent international organisations. The arrangements for Community cooperation may be the subject of agreements between the Community and the third parties concerned, which shall be negotiated and concluded in accordance with Article 300.

The previous paragraph shall be without prejudice to Member States' competence to negotiate in international bodies and to conclude international agreements.


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Original Lisbon Treaty

Article 2, point 164 of the original Lisbon Treaty (ToL) amends and renumbers Article 181 TEC, OJEU 17.12.2007 C 306/94:


164) An Article 188 G shall be inserted, with the wording of Article 181; the second sentence of the first paragraph and the second paragraph shall be deleted.


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Consolidated Lisbon Treaty


After one more renumbering the undeleted parts appear of what has become Article 211 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), in the consolidated version published OJEU 9.5.2008 C 115/142:


Article 211 TFEU
(ex Article 181 TEC)

Within their respective spheres of competence, the Union and the Member States shall cooperate with third countries and with the competent international organisations.


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Lisbon Treaty changes

Roughly two thirds of the text is deleted, but it is hard to see anything of value getting lost. In addition, Article 209(2) TFEU already says it.

Even the remaining part of the provision seems to have only an informative (declaratory) value.

Article 211 TFEU is the same as Article III-318(3) of the Constitutional Treaty.



Ralf Grahn