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The application of EC law to defence-related industries—changing interpretations of Article 296 EC

Koutrakos, P. (2009). The application of EC law to defence-related industries—changing interpretations of Article 296 EC. In: Barnard, C. (Ed.), The Outer Limits of European Union Law. (pp. 307-327). Hart Publishing. ISBN 9781841138602


For a long time, defence industries were considered to be entirely beyond the reach of EU law. Their function for the organization of national defence was deemed to place them at the core of national sovereignty, a space much removed from the incrementally developing purview of Community law and the increasingly expanding jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. The validity of this view was purported to be substantiated by Article 296 EC, a rather obscure provision of the EC Treaty which refers specifically to arms, munitions and war materials.

However, recent developments have questioned this assumption, highlighted its flaws and gradually rendered defence industries at the centre of an increasingly multilayered legislative and political dialogue at EU level. These developments are legal, political and economic in nature and are all interrelated in their implications.

This Chapter will tell the story of this gradual shift of the position of defence industries from the margins of European integration to the centre of EU policymaking. In doing so, it will chart this development, explain its significance and set out its constitutional, institutional and political implications for the EU and its Member States.

Publication Type: Book Section
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
The City Law School > Institute for the Study of European Laws
Date available in CRO: 10 Sep 2015 09:43
Date deposited: 28 July 2017
Date of first online publication: 2009
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