14 Jun 2018

IGIR lunch seminar on “The enforceability of the trade and sustainable development chapters in the EU’s FTAs” by Iveta Alexovičová and Denise Prévost

On June 14th at 12:30-13:30, Iveta Alexovičová and Denise Prévost will present the findings of their research on the enforceability of the trade and sustainable development chapters in the EU’s FTAs. You are warmly invited to join the discussion in room B0.118 in the Faculty of Law.

Recent years have seen intensified interest in the labour and environment provisions in recent EU's FTAs, including debate in the European Parliament and the Council, in the Member States and third countries and within civil society. The question has arisen whether the incorporation of ’trade and sustainable development’ chapters in the EU's FTAs deliver on their promise of using the EU’s trade power to effectively promote the protection of the environment and improved working conditions in third countries. In particular, the enforceability of trade and sustainable development commitments has come to the forefront of the debate. Concerns have been raised that the EU's 'promotional approach' based on dialogue and cooperation is less effective that the 'sanctions-based' approach to trade and environment commitments in the FTAs of the US and Canada. 

This presentation aims to examine the enforcement of trade and sustainable development chapters in recent EU FTAs against the background of two recent Commission documents and to assess the proposals for improvement of enforceability against the EU’s stated objectives of the effective promotion of global governance in the area of sustainable development. It argues that, to be effective, this ‘promotional’ approach must be supported by effective mechanisms for transparency, institutionalised dialogue and accountability.