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Institutional balance and sincere cooperation in treaty-making under EU law

Koutrakos, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-2346-4057 (2018). Institutional balance and sincere cooperation in treaty-making under EU law. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 68(1), pp. 1-33. doi: 10.1017/S0020589318000350


A stream of recent judgments by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice has shed light on the procedures that govern treaty-making by the European Union. This article explores how this case-law aproaches the principle of institutional balance and the duty of cooperation between the institutions. It argues that the former is construed in a balanced manner on the basis of a literal interpretation of primary law that promotes strict compliance with procedural rules and does not favour a particular institution. As for the duty of cooperation, whilste its procedural dimension is strengthened, its scope remains somewhat elusive. The analysis identifies a pragmatic streak in the Court’s balanced approach, and argues that there is an inherent limit to the impact of constitutional law on inter-institutional disputes. Ultimately, the less time and energy the institutions waste on turf wars about their procedural powers, the greater their contribution to inceasing the efficiency of the Union’s treaty-making practice.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Article 218 TFEU, ECJ, European Law, procedures, treaty-making
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
K Law
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
The City Law School > Institute for the Study of European Laws
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