ALESSANDRO AMATO, Who should sign international agreements concluded by the European Union? Brief notes concerning Advocate General Kokott’s opinion on the case Commission v. Council (Signature d’accords internationaux)

For a long time, after the enactment of the Treaty of Lisbon, in the European legal framework lingered the question of which institution must be invested with the power of representing the EU while negotiating international treaties with third countries. It should be recalled that the CJEU never had the opportunity to take a stand until now, and so, in the meanwhile, the Council had the opportunity to solidify a steady practice. This Council’s practice, i.e. assuming the power to conclude international agreements on it’s own, was the object of the Article 2 of the Decision (EU) 2021/1117 of 28 June 2021 on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, and provisional application of the Implementing Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the Gabonese Republic and the European Community (2021-2026). The European Commission appealed before CJUE pleading an infringement of the Commission’s competence (sixth sentence of Article 17(1) TEU in conjunction with Article 13(1) and (2) TEU) and of the principle of sincere cooperation (Article 4(3) TEU). The following article will examine the opinion expressed by Advocate General Kokott on the 13th of July 2023, focusing on the most relevant legal issues, and it will try to determine the preferable solution to the dispute under consideration.

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