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Towards a Sustainable World Trade Law? The Commercial Policy of the European Union after Opinion 2/15 CJEU

Dr. Gruni published an article on the impact on sustainable development in the EU Common Commercial Policy of recent Opinion 2/15 CJEU on the Global Trade and Customs Journal.

Dr. G. Gruni
01 February 2018
Towards a Sustainable World Trade Law?


Opinion 2/15 provides an undisputable exclusive competence to the EU for the inclusion of labour and environmental standards in EU Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). However, most of the possible policies to include sustainable development in world trade law would affect trade clauses of FTAs and World Trade Organization law for which the exclusive competence of the EU was not in doubt (e.g. free movement of goods and services, intellectual property). Accordingly, a holistic approach of the EU considering sustainability issues when negotiating any aspects of international trade treaties is required if sustainable development is to play a role in the future of world trade law. The article highlights potential consequences of Opinion 2/15 for the trade policy of the European Union in three areas: sustainable development clauses, trade negotiations and the participation of the EU in the WTO.

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