open access

Abstract

The question of legal status and effect of the WTO law within the EU legal order is a controversial issue. For years the ECJ firmly holds its stance that due to its nature and structure the WTO Agreement is not capable of having direct effect and does not in principle form part of European courts’ legality review while there are fierce debates among scholars about what kind of effect the WTO law should have in the EU legal order. This paper analyses what kind of impact would granting direct effect to the WTO Agreement have on the EU institutions and EU in general, could it harm the EU and if it would have some negative consequences, would the benefit arising from it prevail over the “costs” and finally, whether the WTO Agreement should be granted direct effect. It analyses the possibilities for the individuals to obtain compensation for the damage caused by a breach of WTO law and stresses the need of increasing the current level of judicial protection for the individuals who have suffered great damage as incidental victims affected by retaliation resulting from the WTO dispute. Thus a solution which, given the present circumstances of the WTO system, seems like the most appropriate shall be offered.