EU Free Trade Agreements as an Instrument of Promoting the Rule of Law in Third Countries: A Framework Paper

  • Maryna RabinovychEmail author
Part of the European Yearbook of International Economic Law book series (EUROYEAR, volume 10)


This contribution explores the EU FTAs as an instrument of promoting the rule of law to third states. The background to this research is formed by the trend towards the rise of normative contestation globally and EU-wide; the EU’s shift to the “deep” bi- and plurilateral trade liberalization agenda following the deadlock of the WTO Doha Round and its ongoing efforts to strengthen the coherence of its external action. First, the paper refers to the rule of law as a fundamental value of the EU and operationalizes it. Next, it explores the foundational (“framework”) foreign policy and legal prerequisites behind the EU’s promotion of the rule of law through FTAs (the interplay between economic and normative objectives in the EU external action, the nature of EU power in external trade relations, its bargaining power in trade negotiations, legal basis and scope of FTAs that can be instrumentalised by the EU to promote values). Finally, the paper uses the example of administrative cooperation and public procurement chapters of three categories of EU FTAs (SAAs with Western Balkans, AAs with Eastern Neighbours and EU-CARIFORUM EPA) to illustrate the rule of law promotion potential of the EU FTAs.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HamburgHamburgGermany

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