Policy coherence for BHR: Trade & Sustainability in FTAs

All recent Free Trade and Investment Agreements (FTAs) that have been concluded between the EU and third countries include a chapter on trade and sustainability. Through this chapter, the EU is addressing UNGPs Principle 9: “States should maintain adequate domestic policy space to meet their human rights obligations when pursuing business-related policy objectives with other States or business enterprises, for instance through investment treaties or contracts”. However, what works on paper does not always work in practice. Core trade provisions are often implemented more quickly than commitments in sustainability chapters.

In this session, we will:
– Identify obstacles for effectively implementing sustainability chapters of FTAs and for developing well-functioning monitoring mechanisms;
– Formulate recommendations for future FTAs, also by looking at the labour chapter in the Colombia-USA FTA;
– Shed light on the obstacles that different parties have encountered during the implementation of the FTAs;
– Investigate how business could be more actively involved in the implementation of sustainability provisions.

Contributions by:
– Gaelle Dusepulchre (vice-chair of the EU DAG for the South Korean FTA & Permanent representative EU with the International Federation for Human Rights);
– Daniele Basso (Member of EU-Peru/Colombia DAG & ETUC representative);
– Ana Catalina Herrera Parra (Juridical advisor and advocacy officer, Confederación General del Trabajo Colombia);
– Silvia Formentini (European Commission, DG Trade);
– Eleonora Catella (Member EU-Korea DAG, EU-Peru/Colombia DAG & representative BusinessEurope).

Moderated by: John Morrison (IHRB)

Session organised by CNV Internationaal and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Bio’s of speakers

Bio’s speakers session 26 FTAs

Background materials

Links to the websites of the EU Domestic Advisory Groups set up under each of the EU Trade and Sustainable Development chapters:

EU-Korea FTA

– EU-Central America Association Agreement

EU-Colombia/Peru Trade Agreement

EU-Georgia Association Agreement

– EU-Moldova Association Agreement