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33 Conn. J. Int'l L. 215 (2017-2018)
Unidentified Legal Object: Conceptualising the European Union in International Law

handle is hein.journals/conjil33 and id is 240 raw text is: 

                     INTERNATIONAL LAW

                               Jed Odermatt


      What is the European Union? This seemingly simple question gives rise to a
multitude of diferent answers from EU lawyers, international lawyers, political
scientists, and the media. The debate is as old as European integration, and a
satisfying answer still alludes us. Does the legal characterization of the EU and EU
law matter from a legal standpoint? This article argues that such characterizations
do matter. It first discusses four main ways in which the EU is perceived in the EU
law and international law literature: (i) the EU as a 'new legal order'; (ii) the EU
as a  'self-contained regime' in international law; (iii the EU as a 'Regional
Economic  Integration Organization' (REIO); and (iv) the EU as a  'Classic
intergovernmental organization' (Classic 10). Using examples from recent legal
practice, this article shows how such characterizations are the 'starting points' in
debates which can shape legal outcomes. It is difficult to overcome such divergent
views, however, since they represent much deeper disagreements and power
relations. Developing a theory ofEU legal character gives rise to new challenges.


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