Court of Justice of the European Union delivers Opinion 2/15 on the allocation of competences between the European Union and the Member States as regards the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Singapore
The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) delivered on 16 May 2017 its long-awaited Opinion 2/15 on the allocation of competences between the European Union and the Member States as regards the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Singapore (the “EUSFTA”), which is one of the first “new generation” trade agreements.
The CJEU concluded that, in essence, the European Union enjoys exclusive competences as regards all matters covered by the EUSFTA with the exception of non-direct foreign investment, investor-state dispute resolution covering all types of investments, and ancillary provisions regarding non-direct foreign investment. In so doing, the CJEU decided that the European Union enjoys very extensive exclusive competences in negotiating and concluding trade agreements with third countries, which might soon include the United Kingdom. At the same time, the implication of Opinion 2/15 is that the European Union should no longer pursue the policy of combining trade and investment in a single treaty.