Ernst-Ulrich PETERSMANN, International dispute settlement and the position of individuals under EU and international law


This contribution argues that the EU’s ‘cosmopolitan foreign policy constitution’ (e.g. based on Articles 2,3 and 21 TEU and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights) and the universal recognition of human rights require re-interpreting the ‘rules of recognition’ of EU and international law by ‘balancing’ state-centered rules and principles with the human and constitutional rights of EU citizens and the person-centered ‘principles of justice’ underlying EU constitutional law and multilevel human rights law. As EU law recognizes citizens as ‘agents of justice’, constituent powers and ‘democratic principals’ entitled to constitutional rights and ‘strict observance of international law’ (Article 3 TEU) also in the EU external relations, the transnational constitutional rights and multilevel judicial remedies protected by EU law must be construed as entitling citizens to transnational rule of law and corresponding duties of EU institutions to protect citizens and their rights also in international dispute settlement procedures (e.g. under UN, WTO, regional trade and investment agreements). The EU constitutional principles of conferral, subsidiarity, proportionality and access to justice for multilevel judicial protection of equal freedoms and ‘strict observance of international law’ are relevant context for interpreting EU obligations under UN, WTO and other treaty and dispute settlement systems for the benefit of EU citizens that must hold the limited ‘constituted powers’ of multilevel governance institutions more legally, democratically and judicially accountable in order to protect transnational public goods and rule of law inside the EU.

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