What do we mean by the global reach of EU law?
It includes the extraterritorial application of EU law, the presence of ‘territorial extension’, and the so-called ‘Brussels Effect’; all phenomena concerned with the effects of unilateral legislative instruments and regulatory action beyond the EU’s borders.
But ‘global reach’ also refers to the impact of the EU’s bilateral relationships in the form of agreements with third countries or third country agencies, and of the EU’s engagement with multilateral fora and the negotiation of international legal instruments.
Although we are here concerned with the impact of (EU) law, the instruments used by the EU to facilitate its global reach include, alongside such ‘hard’ law as legislation and international agreements, non-binding – though sometimes highly institutionalized – instruments such as dialogues, agendas for action and guidelines.
Three points flow from this conception of ‘global reach’.
First is the need to appreciate the relationship between these different modes of EU action – unilateral, bilateral and multilateral – and the ways in which they interact.
Second, this interplay indicates that the global reach of EU law is not limited to the export of the EU’s own internal acquis; it may involve the use of EU instruments (both unilateral and bilateral) to support the adoption and application of international law.
And third, the instruments of the global reach of EU law are often presented (not least by the EU itself) as mechanisms for the promotion of its values, part of the EU’s external mandate under Articles 3(5) and 21 TEU.
Project Directors: Marise Cremona and Joanne Scott