24. European Union External Action and International Law

A key question in the request for advice was ‘What frameworks does international law provide for international action by the EU in being or becoming a party to treaties, including treaties establishing international organisations?’ This advisory report discusses the international law frameworks that govern the external action of the EU and the external consequences of the distribution of competences between the EU and its member states, not the actual distribution of competences itself.

The basic criterion is that the general rules of international law, in particular those of treaty law, must be observed. It follows first that it must be possible under the founding treaty in question for the EU to become a party.