Mémoire : Is Sustainable the New Trade ? The Effectiveness of Trade and Sustainable Development Chapters in Recent EU Free Trade Agreements

After almost seven years of implementation of ‘Trade and Sustainable Development’ (TSD) chapters, this paper researches the reasons which have led to the inclusion of a dedicated chapter on environmental and labour provisions in European Union (EU) Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and whether these chapters have been effective.

It shows that TSD chapters constitute a new form of political conditionality that relies on the trade liberalisation incentive. The effectiveness of TSD chapters is assessed in regard to their purported objectives – strengthening labour and environmental protection and compliance, and promoting cooperation, public participation and transparency.

The paper relies on three case studies: South Korea, Colombia and Ukraine. Finally, thirteen policy recommendations are made for improving the TSD chapters’ capability and effectiveness.

Par Romain Laugier

Mémoire soutenu dans le cadre du Master of Arts in EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies du Collège d’Europe, campus de Bruges

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