these may take, the member state no longer has the right, acting individually or evencollectively, to undertake obligations with third countries which affect those rules.
Opinion 1/94 on the Competence of the EC in signing International Agreements
In signing an international agreement, careful consideration of its terms and subject matterwill be required in order to determine the apportionment of competence between the EC andmember states and the nature of that competence.
addressed the question of thecompetence of the Community to conclude the General Agreement on Trade in Services
and the TRIPs Agreements.
The conclusion of the ECJ was that the EC and itsmembers are
jointly competent to conclude the TRIPS agreement.
In the determiningopinion of the court, the Commission were adamant that the Community were to haveexclusive competence in relation to the WTO Agreements. The member states feared that thiswas a move to gradually empower the EC in relation to external affairs and argued that thiswould be contrary to the established limitations of implied powers of the EC.
Sharedcompetence would raise many institutional questions as to implementation and participation.There are a number of preponderant considerations in this context. On a pragmatic front,there must be uniform and consistent application of the provisions of the mixed Agreements
a common position. This is supplemented by the duty of the EC and its member states toco-operate. The EC legal system must represent itself to the outside world as a unifiedsystem.
Any loss of confidence in the functioning of the Community on an internationalfront could prove damaging to trade relations. The absence of uniform interpretation wouldtherefore be
“undesirable, artificial and perhaps unworkable.”
Additional clarification of the
Commission v. Council
 ECR 263,at 274; clarification of external competences.
Dominic Mc Goldrick,
International Relations Law of the European Union,
(London: Longman, 1997) atpages 78-79.
(15 November 1994)  ECR I - 5267
Thomas Cottier and Matthias Oesch,
International Trade Regulation: Law and Policy in the WTO, the European Union and Switzerland: Cases, Materials and Comments,
(London: Cameron May, 2005) at page239.
Advocate General Tesauro, Case C- 53/96,
November 1997  ECR I
3603,3606 at paragraph 20-21. See also
on International Agreement on National Rubber paragraph 34-36.
“The Domestic Legal Status of the WTO Agreement: Interconnecting Legal Systems”
, (1997) 34(1)
Common Market Law Review
11, at page 20.