Book Review: Trade, Foreign Policy and Defence in EU Constitutional Law by Panos Koutrakos. Oxford: Hart (2001). 243 Pages.

8 Colum. J. Eur. L. 367 (2002)

reviewed by Jason Casey.

Panos Koutrakos’ Trade, Foreign Policy and Defence in EU Constitutional Law addresses institutional concerns raised by actions taken under Title V provisions of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) establishing the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The book is based on Mr. Koutrakos’ doctoral thesis and functions as a useful overview of the trade aspects of foreign and defense policy and their functioning within the legal framework of the European Union (EU). The analysis centers on the relationship between the pre-existing structures of the European Community and the aims of the CFSP. Koutrakos assesses whether the aims of the CFSP can be effectively realized through the existing structures given the central role of trade in foreign policy.

Article 3 of the TEU provides for “a single institutional framework.” The Treaty does not establish a separate set of institutions to govern the CFSP. Instead, it relies on the existing Community institutions, which must operate under a special set of limitations in their CFSP role.’ Article 3 of the TEU seeks to “ensure the consistency of [the EU’s] external activities as a whole in the context of its external relations, security, economic and development policies.”

Koutrakos characterizes this interaction as being either substantive or administrative in character, with substantive interaction further divided into direct and indirect interaction. Direct substantive interaction takes place when an action is taken under both pillars. An example of direct substantive interaction is the imposition of trade sanctions that are adopted under both a common position under Article 15 TEU and a Community regulation under Article 301 of the Treaty of Rome (EC). Indirect substantive interaction occurs when Community activities are referred to in Title V actions and can take various forms. CFSP proceedings may refer to past Community actions, or to Community actions to be taken in support of CFSP activities. Finally, administrative interactions are those that occur in arranging the financing of activities under the CFSP. Prior to adoption of the Amsterdam Treaty, financing was a serious obstacle to the effectiveness of the CFSP. This problem, however, has been effectively addressed by the requirement that CFSP activities are to be charged to the Community budget.

The question raised by the interaction between the EC and the CFSP is what effect the interaction will have on the aim to establish consistency in the overall structure of the EU. The author highlights two views on the issue. The first argues that the intergovernmental character of CFSP provisions under the TEU undermines the supragovernmental character of the Community. The opposing view suggests that the interaction will undermine the intergovernmental character of the CFSP. Koutrakos concludes that neither view adequately addresses the issue and that, in order to function properly, the interaction must be guided by a determination to ensure consistencywhile protecting the acquis communautaire.