Home page / Project Outline / Public / Publications / ‘EU Law Export to the Eastern Neighbourhood and an Elusive Demand for (...)

‘EU Law Export to the Eastern Neighbourhood and an Elusive Demand for Law’

Wolczuk, K (with Dragneva, R.), (2011) ‘EU Law Export to the Eastern Neighbourhood and an Elusive Demand for Law’ in P. Cardwell (ed) EU External Relations Law and Policy in the Post-Lisbon Era, TMC Asser Press, forthcoming

This chapter examines the export of law in the EU’s external policy and the impact that the Lisbon Treaty may have on the existing formula for law export. It focuses on the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which has centered on the intensive and extensive expansion of EU rules outside its borders. In this chapter we broaden the analysis of the EU’s external policy looking at the ENP against the global context for exporting law. We argue that, outside the accession context, the role of the EU in its neighbourhood is not dissimilar from that of other global actors – states or international organisations, which have promoted rules and norms to third countries for the purpose of development. We discuss the ENP law export formula against some key features of international experience, especially the factors behind effective legal transplantation. No doubt, the EU has sought to incorporate many of the lessons of exporting legal reform in the 1990s. Nevertheless, the question remains as to whether in its policy towards the neighbours the EU has moved from a paradigm based on compliance with EU law to one where ‘demand for law’ and political economy of legal reforms are sufficiently factored in. We argue that the Lisbon Treaty will not obliterate the essential contradictions and tensions underlying the EU’s policy towards its neighbours. However, it may still help to foster demand-driven, pragmatic law-export formula more closely tailored to partners’ capacities and needs, in line with international experience of legal transplants.