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Critical perspectives on social and legal relevance of sincere cooperation in EU external relations law in the era of expanding trade: the belt & road initiative in context

Fahey, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-2603-5300 & Brsakoska Bazerkoska, J. (2022). Critical perspectives on social and legal relevance of sincere cooperation in EU external relations law in the era of expanding trade: the belt & road initiative in context. In: The EU and its Member States’ Joint Participation in International Agreements. Modern Studies in European Law. . Bloomsbury Publishing.

Abstract

The chapter will examine how much the EU Member States increasingly disrespect the duty of sincere cooperation within trade and at its margins by focussing upon its most complex international opponent and potential partner, China and its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The BRI is not an international organisation, yet its scale, span and ambitions increasingly impact upon understandings of international law, regions and nation states vis a vis China. BRI thrives upon soft law instruments and relies on processes outside of traditional frameworks for protection and promotion of investments. The chapter focuses on the EU Member State engagement with the Belt and Road Initiative of China which is highly significant and it also represents a key study of joint participation, sincere cooperation and the ostensibly irrelevance of EU action. The BRI engagements by the Member States are increasingly extraordinary and imperilled by the very engagements themselves to the detriment of the EU’s deepening relations with China. There is a distinctly law-light dimension to sincere cooperation where rules, if they are that, are often more regarded in their breach. The chapter will critically explore gaps in the reality of EU MS joint participation and its excessive formalism which is argued to be mismatched with practice. It will explore how sincere cooperation is chronically under and over-enforced; creates unnecessary power imbalances, with minimalist case law which favours larger states.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This chapter has been published in The EU and its Member States’ Joint Participation in International Agreements by Bloomsbury.
Publisher Keywords: Law; European Union; Sincere cooperation; Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); China; EU External Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JX International law
K Law > K Law (General)
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
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