Mind the Compliance Gap: Managing Trustworthy Partnerships for Sustainable Development in the European Union’s Free Trade Agreements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Recent years have seen intensified interest in the labour and environment provisions in the EU’s FTAs. The question has arisen whether the incorporation of ’trade and sustainable development’ (TSD) 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 compliance gap between the TSD provisions and their implementation 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 followed by the US and Canada. This article examines the mechanisms for compliance in the TSD chapters in recent EU FTAs against the background of two recent Commission documents and assesses the proposals for improvement. It argues that, to be effective, and thereby gain the trust of civil society, the EU’s ‘promotional’ approach must be supported by effective mechanisms for transparency, institutionalised dialogue and accountability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-269
Number of pages34
JournalInternational Journal of Public Law and Policy
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • EU, free trade agreements, trade and sustainable development, environmental protection, labour standards, enforceability, compliance mechanisms, promotional approach, managerial approach, sanctions

Cite this

@article{407f59f0eb474db5b82b0b72837dc0d5,
title = "Mind the Compliance Gap: Managing Trustworthy Partnerships for Sustainable Development in the European Union’s Free Trade Agreements",
abstract = "Recent years have seen intensified interest in the labour and environment provisions in the EU’s FTAs. The question has arisen whether the incorporation of ’trade and sustainable development’ (TSD) 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 compliance gap between the TSD provisions and their implementation 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 followed by the US and Canada. This article examines the mechanisms for compliance in the TSD chapters in recent EU FTAs against the background of two recent Commission documents and assesses the proposals for improvement. It argues that, to be effective, and thereby gain the trust of civil society, the EU’s ‘promotional’ approach must be supported by effective mechanisms for transparency, institutionalised dialogue and accountability.",
keywords = "EU, free trade agreements, trade and sustainable development, environmental protection, labour standards, enforceability, compliance mechanisms, promotional approach, managerial approach, sanctions",
author = "Denise Pr{\'e}vost and Iveta Alexovicova",
year = "2019",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1504/IJPLAP.2019.102874",
language = "English",
volume = "6",
pages = "236--269",
journal = "International Journal of Public Law and Policy",
issn = "2044-7663",
publisher = "Inderscience Publishers",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mind the Compliance Gap

T2 - Managing Trustworthy Partnerships for Sustainable Development in the European Union’s Free Trade Agreements

AU - Prévost, Denise

AU - Alexovicova, Iveta

PY - 2019/10

Y1 - 2019/10

N2 - Recent years have seen intensified interest in the labour and environment provisions in the EU’s FTAs. The question has arisen whether the incorporation of ’trade and sustainable development’ (TSD) 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 compliance gap between the TSD provisions and their implementation 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 followed by the US and Canada. This article examines the mechanisms for compliance in the TSD chapters in recent EU FTAs against the background of two recent Commission documents and assesses the proposals for improvement. It argues that, to be effective, and thereby gain the trust of civil society, the EU’s ‘promotional’ approach must be supported by effective mechanisms for transparency, institutionalised dialogue and accountability.

AB - Recent years have seen intensified interest in the labour and environment provisions in the EU’s FTAs. The question has arisen whether the incorporation of ’trade and sustainable development’ (TSD) 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 compliance gap between the TSD provisions and their implementation 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 followed by the US and Canada. This article examines the mechanisms for compliance in the TSD chapters in recent EU FTAs against the background of two recent Commission documents and assesses the proposals for improvement. It argues that, to be effective, and thereby gain the trust of civil society, the EU’s ‘promotional’ approach must be supported by effective mechanisms for transparency, institutionalised dialogue and accountability.

KW - EU, free trade agreements, trade and sustainable development, environmental protection, labour standards, enforceability, compliance mechanisms, promotional approach, managerial approach, sanctions

U2 - 10.1504/IJPLAP.2019.102874

DO - 10.1504/IJPLAP.2019.102874

M3 - Article

VL - 6

SP - 236

EP - 269

JO - International Journal of Public Law and Policy

JF - International Journal of Public Law and Policy

SN - 2044-7663

IS - 3

ER -