AbstractsLaw & Legal Studies

WTO Law and EU/EEA Law: A Legal and Substantive Comparison. With Emphasis on Free Movement of Goods

by Unnur Elfa Hallsteinsdóttir 1988

Institution: University of Iceland
Year: 2015
Keywords: Lögfræði
Record ID: 1222403
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/20879


The main purpose of this thesis is to compare the main principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) regarding trade in goods. The purpose of this thesis is also to answer the analytical question of how these legal regimes function together and examine how the rules on free movement of goods within the EU interact with the WTO legal framework. The thesis begins by examining the conceptual, theoretical and legal framework of the topic along with a short overview of EUs position in the WTO. In chapter 3 the history and foundation of the WTO will be briefly accounted. Chapter 4 will then discuss the main principles of WTO law that directly relate to trade in goods found in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (The GATT). The discussion will start by examining the principles of non-discrimination; the Most-Favoured Nation principle and the National-Treatment principle. The discussion will then move on to principles regarding market access, both in the form of tariffs and in the form of non-tariff barriers. The chapter ends by taking into account general exceptions found in article XX of the GATT and regional trade exceptions found in article XXIV of the GATT. The focus of the essay will then shift to a narrower view, as chapters 5 and 6 examine trade rules regarding goods within the EU and the EEA. The rules on the internal market and the free movement of goods will be examined in context of EU law. The main emphasis of the essay is then placed in chapter 7 where these different trade regimes are thoroughly compared, both from a legal and substantive perspective. The first part of the chapter focuses on examining the structural, subjective and legal differences between these organizations and how these legal regimes act together. It also examines what position WTO law receives within the EU. The second part of the chapter begins with providing a short overview of the different integration methods underlying the structure of these organizations. It then moves on to compare the substantive law of these organizations, starting with the customs law and then rules on quantitative restrictions. The main focus of the chapter will be on examining and comparing the approaches of these organizations towards the principle of non-discrimination and towards non-discriminatory trade restrictive measures, providing a short overview over EUs external approach towards the principle of non-discrimination. The chapter ends by examining the different applications of general exceptions by these organization from the their trade principles. Lastly, in chapter 8 the position of Iceland as a member of the WTO and the EEA, as well as the current trade policy of the state, will be briefly reviewed. This comparison is pursued under the methodology of comparative law and takes into account all relevant legal sources, such as general principles of law and provisions of trade agreements. It also takes into account the proper case law; both reports of the Panel and the…