Consultation and Participation Through Domestic Advisory Groups and Civil Society Meetings

  • Vivian Kube
Part of the Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Rights book series (CHREN, volume 4)


Since the EU-Korea FTA, the EU includes an elaborated mechanism for civil society participation as a monitoring and advisory body for the trade and sustainable development chapters. This chapter proposes that these mechanisms bear the potential to enable human rights-holders to participate in the implementation, evaluation and contestation of the international investment regime while circumventing existing power imbalances at domestic level as well as at the level of investment arbitration. Therefore, these mechanisms could be a means to counter the inequality of rights protection within the international investment regime by building sustainable institutions that enable those previously disregarded to inject their interests into international investment regulation. However, for the EU to seize the full potential of the EU human rights framework, substantial reforms and a shift of perception are necessary as this chapter demonstrates. In order to show the potential and the shortcomings, the first section (Sect. 7.2) outlines the relevant requirements of the EU external human rights framework. Any consultation and participation mechanism in an investment agreement will have to meet such legal requirements in order to discharge the duty to respect and in order to realize the duty to promote that flow from EU constitutional law as demonstrated in Chap. 2. Other applicable obligations stemming from EU law as well as international human rights law provide the substantive content for the abstract human rights commitment of Art. 21 TEU. Second, the institutional design, the practice as well as the discernible concept behind the current civil society involvement mechanisms in EU trade agreements are evaluated against these legal requirements (Sect. 7.3). Subsequently, the necessary reforms are being proposed (Sect. 7.4).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivian Kube
    • 1
  1. 1.HamburgGermany

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