From “Trade and Sustainability” to “Trade for Sustainability” in EU External Trade Policy
This chapter examines the efforts of the EU to promote sustainability within the framework of the Union’s free trade agreements. The chapter first describes how sustainability issues have been managed within EU external trade policy. The author recounts how the EU is striving to meet social and environmental challenges by focusing on the implementation of and compliance with the sustainability provisions of the EU’s free trade agreements with international partners. Here, Zurek investigates both substantive and procedural aspects of the Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapters and discusses the proposed reform on stronger implementation recently presented by the European Commission. Against the backdrop of an ongoing and growing discussion of the scope of the EU’s authority and competence in external trade policy, Zurek considers two aspects of the European Court of Justice’s opinion on the Singapore agreement. First, the Court confirms that the TSD chapter falls under the EU’s exclusive competence. Second, the Court confirms that a breach of the commitments concerning sustainable development in the free trade agreement should be regarded as a breach of the Vienna Convention and can thus be sanctioned.
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