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Jaap Waverijn and Ceciel Nieuwenhout published in Common Market Law Review on the applicability of EU law at sea

27 January 2020

Waverijn and Nieuwenhout's contribution is the first to show how both the European Court of Justice and the EU legislature at times fail to properly navigate the complex matter of EU law applicability at sea. Common Market Law Review is a leading academic journal, globally ranking second in the categories Top journals on European law and Top journals on international law.

Jaap Waverijn wrote an early draft of this article when visiting the European University Institute Department of Law and the Florence School of Regulation - Energy and Climate group in 2017. Together with his colleague at the Groningen Centre of Energy Law and Sustainability Ceciel Nieuwenhout, he developed the article on this topic of increasing importance. Recently, the applicability of EU law at sea has received much attention as a result of the plans to construct a new pipeline from Russia to Germany (Nordstream 2).

swimming in ecj case law


Regarding activities taking place at sea, the applicability of EU law depends on the nature and geographic location of the activity as well as on the formulation of the geographical scope of the legal instrument. With Member States’ ever-increasing activity at sea, the ECJ is confronted with various questions on the application of EU law at sea; its case law is analysed in this article. Firstly, the foundation of EU competence at sea in public international law and EU law is explored. Secondly, the line of ECJ case law is analysed. Thirdly, the interplay between the legislature’s formulations and the Court’s reasoning is addressed, as well as the validity of the latter in light of public international law. The article concludes by reflecting on the consequences of the Court’s reasoning, with recommendations regarding alternatives.

Full-text article

Please find a full-text version of the article on the publishers website.

This article was published by the Faculty of Law.

Last modified:14 October 2020 1.24 p.m.

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