Retooling the Sustainability Standards in EU Free Trade Agreements

Journal of International Economic Law

27 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2021

See all articles by Marco Bronckers

Marco Bronckers

Leiden University - Leiden Law School

Giovanni Gruni

ESADE Law School

Date Written: February 23, 2021

Abstract

The EU’s weak promotional policy towards sustainability in its free trade arguments is
up for revision. Labour and environmental standards need to be tightened. They were
given a boost on balance by a remarkable panel ruling of January 2021 in the longstanding
EU–Korea labour dispute. Compliance ought to be subject to regular dispute
settlement between governments. Sanctions must be added to the EU’s toolbox, going
beyond trade retaliation. Private stakeholders should become more involved in monitoring
and enforcement, both at the international and at the domestic level. All this will put
an extra responsibility on the EU and its Member States to protect their labour force and
the environment as well.

Keywords: Sustainability, EU trade policy, free trade agreements, enforcement, sanctions, labor, environment, Mercosur, Korea, China, UK

JEL Classification: K, F

Suggested Citation

Bronckers, Marco and Gruni, Giovanni, Retooling the Sustainability Standards in EU Free Trade Agreements (February 23, 2021). Journal of International Economic Law, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3827049

Marco Bronckers (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Leiden Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA
Netherlands

Giovanni Gruni

ESADE Law School ( email )

Av. Pedralbes 60
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

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