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The New Face of CEFTA and its Dispute Resolution Mechanisms

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Abstract

Amendments made to the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) in 2006 mark significant developments in the economic integration of the Western Balkans. Among those amendments were changes to the Agreement's dispute resolution mechanism. This article analyzes the latest developments in economic integration in the Western Balkans and examines the nature and operation of the dispute resolution mechanisms used in CEFTA. Explanations for important changes to the dispute settlement process in CEFTA are suggested by examining the context of the members' economic, political, social and legal surroundings. The article surveys ongoing tendencies in the development of dispute resolution mechanisms in other regional trade agreements, in particular those utilized by the European Union (EU), as a means of exploring the rationale behind the new CEFTA. It argues that the EU practice—developed in EU association agreements with third countries—has inspired the 2006 amendments to the CEFTA dispute resolution mechanism.

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... For example, in July 2016 the Secretariat sent an opening letter to the Republic of Serbia for its failure to comply with the Energy Community appropriate measures necessary in order to remedy the situation. At present, any dispute between CEFTA members arising out of competition issues and any dispute in which only one of the parties is also a WTO member must be resolved by the CEFTA internal dispute resolution mechanism (Biukovic 2008). 16 Georgia, Armenia, Norway and Turkey participate as observers. ...
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The fifth enlargement of the EU has necessitated various adjustments to the pan-European trade and integration framework. This article discusses ways in which the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) has been affected by this process. What was CEFTA's role in the EU pre-accession process? How did CEFTA downsizing affect trade arrangements between the enlarged EU and the remaining CEFTA members? Also, how realistic is the idea that the end of CEFTA's role in central Europe could be a prelude to its revitalization as a vehicle for multilateralization of trade arrangements in the south east European setting? Copyright 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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In recent years two parallel trends have emerged in the organizationof international trade. The first development is the rise ofregionalism, with a host of new integration initiatives drawn alonggeographical lines. More than thirty regional accords were officiallynotified to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) between1990 and 1994 alone, a total exceeding that of any previous five-yearperiod. The second is a distinct but less widespread move towardlegalism in the enforcement of trade agreements. To an unusual extenttrading states have delegated to impartial third parties the authorityto review and issue binding rulings on alleged treaty violations, attimes based on complaints filed by nonstate or supranational actors.Separately, the two trends have garnered scholarly attention, sparkingcomparative analysis of regional versus multilateral arrangements anddebates regarding the politicaldynamics of judicializationwithinindividualpacts, especiallyin Europe. The intersection of these twotrends, however, remains little examined.
Slovakia respondent, no panel established and mutually agreed solutions notified under Art.3(6) of the DSU)
  • Wto
WTO, "Dispute Settlement: Dispute by Country", available at <http://www.wto.org./english/ tratop_e /dispu_e/dispu_by_country_e.htm>. See, in particular, "Czech Republic-Measure Affecting Import Duty on Wheat from Hungary", WT/DS148 (1998) (Hungary complainant, Czech Republic respondent, no panel established nor settlement notified); "Romania-Import Prohibition on Wheat and Wheat Flour", WT/DS240 (2001) (Hungary complainant, Romania respondent, Hungary withdrew request for establishment of a panel); "Slovakia-Safeguard Measure on Imports of Sugar", WT/DS235 (2001) (Poland complainant, Slovakia respondent, no panel established and mutually agreed solutions notified under Art.3(6) of the DSU); "Slovak Republic-Measure Affecting Import Duty on Wheat from Hungary", WT/DS143 (1998) (Hungary complainant, Slovakia respondent; no panel established nor settlement notified);
Czech Republic complainant, Hungary respondent; consultations requested, no panel established nor settlement notified)
"Hungary-Safeguard Measure on Imports of Steel Products from the Czech Republic", WT/ DS159 (1999) (Czech Republic complainant, Hungary respondent; consultations requested, no panel established nor settlement notified); "Croatia-Measure Affecting Imports of Live Animals and Meat Products", WT/DS297 (2003) (Hungary complainant, Croatia respondent; consultations requested, no panel established nor settlement notified); "Czech Republic-Additional Duty on Imports of Pig-Meat from Poland", WT/DS289 (2003) (Poland complainant, Czech Republic respondent; consultations requested, no panel established nor settlement notified).