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      The EU’s duty of non-recognition and the territorial scope of trade agreements covering unlawfully acquired territories

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          Abstract

          Recently, the international legality of the EU’s economic activity in unlawfully acquired territories has gained much salience. Claims are increasingly heard that the duty of non-recognition requires the inapplicability of trade agreements to unlawfully acquired territories. In this light, this article attempts a survey of the relevant EU practice by focusing on the case-studies of Palestine and Western Sahara. The main question examined here is whether the EU has acted in breach of its obligation of non-recognition by concluding agreements with third States that extend to unlawfully acquired territories. Overall, this article argues that there is a growing gap between EU identity rhetoric as a promoter of international law and its actual practice on the ground.

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          Most cited references 1

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          EU extraterritorial obligations with respect to trade with occupied territories: Reflections after the case of Front Polisario before EU courts

           Cedric Ryngaert (corresponding) ,  Rutger Fransen (2018)
          This paper provides a critical analysis of the recent judgments of the General Court of the EU and the Court of Justice of the EU in the case of Front Polisario v Council , which concerned the application of the EU-Morocco Liberalisation Agreement to products from Western Sahara. The central argument is that both EU courts failed to adequately consider the nature of the Moroccan presence on Western Saharan territory: a belligerent occupation. In light of this occupation, the courts should have channelled the EU’s extraterritorial obligations vis-à-vis the population of Western Sahara through the tailor-made regimes of the law of occupation and the international duty of non-recognition. It is argued that the application of the Liberalisation Agreement may notably run afoul of the EU’s duty of non-recognition, but that the Agreement may still apply insofar as it benefits the local population. More fundamentally, after Front Polisario , the EU may want to reconsider all trade relations in respect of occupied territories by distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate products.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            EWLR
            Europe and the World: A law review
            Eur. World
            UCL Press
            2399-2875
            26 June 2019
            : 3
            : 1
            Affiliations
            Senior Researcher in EU and International Law, Academic coordinator of CLEER, TMC Asser Instituut, the Netherlands
            Author notes
            Article
            EWLR-3-5
            10.14324/111.444.ewlj.2019.15
            © 2019, Eva Kassoti.

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited • DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ewlj.2019.15.

            Page count
            Pages: 18
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            E. Kassoti, ‘The EU’s duty of non-recognition and the territorial scope of trade agreements covering unlawfully acquired territories’ [2019] 3(1): 5. Europe and the World: A law review [18]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ewlj.2019.15.

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            Europe and the World: A law review
            Volume 3, Issue 1

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