Bilateral And Regional Trade Agreements Commentary And Analysis

Thursday, April 8th, 2021

Sovereignty “States co-exist in relation to `sovereign equality`. The elements of sovereign equality of states are enumerated in the United Nations Declaration on Friendly Relations: “All States enjoy sovereign equality. They have equal rights and duties and are equal members of the international community, regardless of economic, social, political or other aspects. Sovereign equality includes: (a) states are equal in law; (b) each state enjoys the inherent rights of full sovereignty; (c) Each state has a duty to respect the personality of other states; (d) The territorial integrity and political independence of the state are unlivable; (e) each state has the right to freely choose and develop its political, social, economic and cultural systems; (f) Each state has a duty to fully and in good faith fulfill its international obligations and to live in peace with other states.” State sovereignty has never been considered absolute. It is part of an international legal order that governs the interests of sovereign entities or the interests of the international community as a whole and imposes obligations that extend to the internal domain of States. The consensual elements of the usual rules and treaties associate the definition of international obligations with respect to state sovereignty. Even the limited transfer of basic sovereignty to international organizations does not necessarily destroy the sovereign state. The creation of the European Union is an example of this transfer. The European Union`s unprecedented powers cover vital economic sectors and include the harmonisation of rules on internal market, competition, monetary policy and trade policy. Member States have exchanged sovereign powers for a share of the management of the transferred powers and a quota of representation in the European Parliament. A modern view of sovereignty sees restrictions on sovereign decisions through treaties and other consensual agreements as a rational response to the limited potential and possibilities of individual states.

From this point of view, submission to international regulatory systems improves a country`s status in an interdependent world: sovereignty becomes recognized membership in the international community.