Trade Liberalization Requirements
Agreements between the European Community and third states may reproduce trade liberalization provisions contained in the EC Treaty. Such reproduction has taken place, for example, in the Free Trade Agreements of 1972 between EFTA States and the Community; the Europe Agreements between Central and Eastern European States and the Community; and the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement between EFTA States and the Community. The Free Trade Agreements were concerned with liberalization of trade in goods,1 the Europe Agreements concern not only goods2 but also the movement of persons,3 services,4 and capital,5 while the EEA Agreement reproduces EC Treaty provisions governing the 'four freedoms' generally.6 However, the operation of EC Treaty provisions has been heavily dependent on their interpretation by the European Court of Justice. Unless provisions of agreements between the Community and third states are interpreted in the same way as corresponding provisions of the EC Treaty, such agreements may not entail the same far-reaching trade liberalization requirements as the Treaty.
The EEA Agreement seeks to take account of this consideration. Article 6 thereof stipulates that provisions of the Agreement which are substantially identical7 with those of the EC Treaty are to be implemented and applied in accordance with the established case law of the Court of Justice. Arrangements are also made in Article 105 and 111 of the Agreement with a view to ensuring that future developments in such case law are not disregarded in EEA law.8
However, the Court of Justice does not determine the requirements of EC Treaty provisions solely by reference to the terms of the individual provision____________________