Introduction—Positive Integration: EU and WTO Approaches Towards the ‘Trade and’ Debate

  • Rike Krämer-HoppeEmail author
Part of the European Yearbook of International Economic Law book series (EUROYEAR)


The ‘trade and’ debate is concerned with the relationship between trade liberalisation and other non-economic values or concerns like the protection of the environment or human health. Both the EU as well as the WTO struggle in finding the right balance between different values. In the twenty-first century, especially in times like these, when free trade and economic integration are more and more called into question, finding convincing normative answers or ways to address this very complex relationship between trade and other policies is even more pressing. This special issue uses the framework of positive, negative and non-integration to describe and assess solutions and problem-solving capacities for the ‘trade and’ interlinkage. Comparing the WTO and the EU through this framework not only allows for a comprehensive assessment of all the solutions or mechanisms already in place, it also enables new visions and answers for the ‘trade and’ debate.



Many thanks to all the participants of the Workshop “Trade and Environment—Positive Integration in the EU and the WTO” at the Ruhr-University Bochum partly funded also by the Ruhr University. With a special thanks to Piet Eeckhout, Stefan Magen, Joanne Scott, Fiona Smith, Maria Lee and Markus Krajewski for their comments on earlier versions of this introductory and conceptual chapter.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ruhr-University BochumBochumGermany

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