The dispute settlement system, often considered as the “crown jewel” of the WTO, is in a present crisis and becomes the crown of thorns. Over the past years, the United States through the use of the WTO’s consensus requirements has successfully blocked the launch of a process to select the Appellate Body members. This is carried forward by the Trump administration. With a Settlement of Disputes Understanding (DSU) requirement that appeals be heard by three AB members, with the AB membership down to zero at the present time, the Appellate Body ceased to operate in December 10, 2019. The U.S. Administration makes clear that the U.S. long-standing concerns involve systemic, substantive and procedural issues. However, many WTO members have been pressing for the filling of Appellate Body vacancies first and addressing U.S. concerns over time. Without the Appellate Body, the dispute settlement system loses much of its effectiveness and credibility since the core objective of the system is to “provide security and predictability to the multilateral trading system” as stipulated in Article 3.2 of the DSU. The collapse of the Appellate Body may indicate that the rule-based multilateral trading system will be in peril. In view of the importance of the Appellate Body, this article looks into the reasons for the U.S. blockade and the nature of its concerns. This article also explores the proposals put forward by the European Union and the options available to overcome the impasse.
歐洲聯盟 2004 年 5 月以及 2007 年 1 月的東擴之舉係 1950 年代以來歐洲統合過程中重要的發展過程。這不僅是使得中東歐地區國家加入歐盟，更重要的意義在於將不同地區文化與結構透過改革的轉軌過程中融入了歐盟的價值。因此，在歐盟未來的主要擴大議程中也包含了土耳其、克羅埃西亞以及西巴爾半島地區國家。對於歐盟而言，加強並保障有關區域和平、穩定、 繁榮、民主、人權以及歐洲法治的理念價值是相當重要的。
The Eastern Enlargement of the European Union in the year of 2004 and 2007 is one of the most significant developments in the process of European Integration since the 1950s. And with Turkey and the Western Balkan States, enlargement will continue to be one of the major issues on the political agendas. More recently, the EU has inspired tremendous reforms in Turkey, Croatia and the Western Balkans. It is vitally important for the EU to ensure a carefully managed enlargement process that extends peace, stability, prosperity, d..
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