The Consistency of the European Union Renewable Energy Directive with World Trade Organization Agreements: The Case of Biofuels

This article examines the consistency of the European Union Renewable Energy Directive with World Trade Organization Agreements, focusing on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT) and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement). This article reaches two conclusions: (i) the EU Renewable Energy Directive is prima facie inconsistent with the EU’s obligations under the GATT and, (ii) to the extent that the Directive falls within the scope of the TBT Agreement, it is also inconsistent with that agreement.

Focusing on the case of biofuels, this article examines the consistency of Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/ EC and 2003/30/EC (EU Renewable Energy Directive) with the European Union’s (EU) obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements. The article centers on the obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT) and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement). The purpose of this article is to summarise the current state of the law on issues relevant to the EU Renewable Energy Directive and to apply that law to assess the consistency of the Directive with the EU’s WTO obligations. The focus is on the text of the agreements themselves and the previous case law rather than on policy arguments that have been well-rehearsed in the literature. Although such normative debates are important, it is now timely to review the treaty text and current state of the case law given the potential for a WTO challenge to the Directive.

Copyright: © Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH
Quelle: Issue 01/2010 (Juli 2010)
Seiten: 12
Preis inkl. MwSt.: € 41,65
Autor: Professor Andrew Mitchell
Christopher Tran

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