A legal approach for trade issues and a diplomatic approach for non-trade and sustainability issues? From the EUSFTA via the Singapore opinion of the court of justice of the EU to the JEFTA

Herman Voogsgeerd*

*Corresponding author for this work

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International trade policy in general and free trade agreements (FTAs) more specifically are under increasing pressure in Western countries. When negotiating FTAs, the European Union (EU) has the choice between an approach exclusively centred on the common commercial policy (CCP), where the EU is exclusively competent, and a broader one leading to so-called “mixed agreements,” where both the EU and the member states are parties to the treaty. Inclusion of labour-related sustainability issues in the CCP seems to be possible after the opinion of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in the EU–Singapore Free Trade Agreement case of 2017. The EU legal order is an autonomous one in which institutions have prerogatives that may be protected by the CJEU. After the conclusion of Japan–EU Free Trade Agreement a joint statement by ETUC and JTUC-Rengo on July 9, 2018, critically assessed the lack of “effective labour enforcement provisions” in the FTA.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLaw and Diplomacy in the Management of EU-Asia Trade and Investment Relations
Subtitle of host publicationUACES Contemporary European Studies
EditorsChien-Huei Wu, Frank Gaenssmantel
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-429-46172-9
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-61746-9
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2020

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