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26 J. Common Mkt. Stud. 1 (1987-1988)

handle is hein.journals/jcmks26 and id is 1 raw text is: 





     Journal of Common Market Studies
     Volume XXVI, No. I September 1987
     0021-9886 $3.00






              The European Community:

                a  Union of States without

                    unity of government

                          CHRISTOPHER  BREWIN
                             University of Keele

      La diplomatie, sous des conventions de forme, ne connait que les
      rdalites. General de Gaulle, Mimoires deguerre, vol 2, chapter 6.
The  development of the European  Community   into the world's largest
trader has forced third parties to treat with it as an important actor in its own
right. Yet it is plainly not a sovereign state. Therefore the Commission, the
Member  States and third states have all assumed that its formal status is that
of an international organization. Their diplomats have had to get around the
difficulties of recognition, participation, ratification and implementation
consequent on this status.
  My  purpose in this article is to argue that the European Community is
now  better conceptualized as a union of states rather than as an organiz-
ation. The international law doctrine that actors are either states or
organizations has become unrealistic. Not only does it cause unnecessary
practical difficulties, it is conceptually misleading in implying that the
Community  has an inferior status as a negotiator. It may also impoverish the
development of the Community unless an alternative concept is received, as
can be illustrated by the history ofCommunity law.
  The  development of Community  law  would have been crippled if the
international law approach had not been defeated in the van Gend case of
1962. In that decision the Court ofJustice established that Community law
within its sphere is equal in status to national law. Further, the Court has
successfully maintained that, because law should be uniform, Community
law must take precedence over conflicting national law. This decision did
not transform Community law into federal law because Community
legislation suffers from the defect that its statutes are not legitimized by a
democratic legislature. They are law in that the governments of democratic

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