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The Duty of Sincere Cooperation (Art. 4 (3) TEU) and its Implications for the National Interest of EU Member States in the Field of External Relations

Peter Van Elsuwege

The duty of sincere cooperation laid down in Article 4(3) TEU includes a mutual legal obligation for the EU and the Member States "to assist each other in carrying out the tasks which flow from the Treaties". This rather general principle has often been used by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to ensure close cooperation between the EU and the Member States in the context of participation to international organisations and conventions (e.g. Case C-45/07, Commission v. Greece; C-246/07, Commission v. Sweden, etc.). The aim of the paper is to analyse how this case law affects the scope for independent Member State action at the international level.

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