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The European Union as a Contributor to the Development of International Law: The Case of Area of Freedom, Security and Justice Policies

The affirmation of the EU as a “new legal order of international law” in the early sixties was a prelude to an often tumultuous relationship between the European and international orders.

While some friction could be anticipated as the result of Europe’s efforts to establish a self-sufficient legal order escaping “the traditional categories of constitutional and international law”, European and international legal scholarship have often assessed this phenomenon as a one-sided process of EU’s internalization and “Europeanization” of international law. Only recently have legal scholars started adopting the “unorthodox approach” of questioning whether, and if so how and when, might the EU be not only a recipient of but also a contributor to the development of international law, as claimed by Article 3(5) of the Treaty of the European Union.

Building on the existing contributions to this discussion, this project will test the hypothesis that greater internal harmonization leads to greater external powers by the EU, and thus an increased capacity to co-shape international law, in a post-Lisbon Union. It will explore how the EU is contributing to the development of international law in the policy areas falling within its Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and test the limits of EU’s international aspirations against the available evidence of the reception of EU norms and policies by the international legal order.    

Ms T.M. (Teresa) Vieira da Silva Cabrita LLM

PhD Researcher