The New Face of CEFTA and its Dispute Resolution Mechanisms

in Review of Central and East European Law
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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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