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One of the most important and challenging issues in international law is the manner in which we address the relationship between the individual and the international legal system. The traditional framework, in which we set a "sovereign" government between the individual and the development and application of the rules, is no longer sufficient in all circumstances. The fact that governments feel insecure or threatened by the application of international legal rules in actions brought by individuals is not sufficient reason to preclude that development. The purpose of government is not to perpetuate traditional power structures, it is to provide security and economic development for its citizens. If that security and development can be provided better through the application of global rules -- particularly if doing so can lead to a strengthening of the global legal framework -- then the institutions of government should welcome the application of those rules. The concept of direct effect of international economic law carries great significance in the development of the relationship between the individual and international law. Governmental institutions cannot ignore the importance of this concept to the developing global legal framework. The European Community has provided a laboratory in which the direct effects doctrine can be studied and debated.