Abstract

The delocalization of production appears to be the sole response to the increasing competitive pressure exerted by low-cost producers on European firms. While this delocalization has resulted in loss of employment for European citizens within the EU, it may have a corrosive impact on the core societal values both in EU and in the host country. Both public opinion and policy makers fear that international trade, in particular a further liberalization thereof, may undermine or jeopardize policies and measures on a wide variety of issues, for example, the protection the environment and the sustainable development, good governance, cultural rights, labor rights, public health, social welfare, national security, food safety, access to knowledge, consumer interests and animal welfare. There is a general consensus that these non-trade concerns, which cover very different societal aspirations and fears, must be addressed in EU external policy and in particular measures relating to international trade and foreign direct investment. There is also the expectation that the EU should act in all the international arenas to defend and keep these values at the highest level of protection. However, many of the trade measures introduced by developed countries to address non-trade concerns have been met by developing countries with cautious distrust if not with resistance or dissent. Developing countries, including China, often doubt the authenticity of such concerns that can be inspired by protectionist aims, rather than genuine non-trade concerns. Moreover, developing countries see these measures as an attempt by developed countries to impose their social, ethical or cultural values and preferences on exporting developing countries. Given the different and sometimes opposing interests of developing and industrialized countries, one may question whether international economic law may become a fairer system. If all the countries negotiated in international fora having always in mind the general common interests of the humanity as a whole, this would be the case. Unfortunately this is not the case: this is the reason why this project is timely and necessary. Amongst the new emerging economies, China is already playing a key role in drawing new rules of the game and it is important to evaluate, without prejudice and by taking into consideration its special context, China’s behavior internally and externally to understand which direction the world is being driven in by China.
Full Paper
Paolo Davide Farah
Founder, President and Director

Summary

The delocalization of production appears to be the sole response to the increasing competitive pressure exerted by low-cost producers on European firms. While this delocalization has resulted in loss of employment for European citizens within the EU, it may have a corrosive impact on the core societal values both in EU and in the host country. Both public opinion and policy makers fear that international trade, in particular a further liberalization thereof, may undermine or jeopardize policies and measures on a wide variety of issues, for example, the protection the environment and the sustainable development, good governance, cultural rights, labor rights, public health, social welfare, national security, food safety, access to knowledge, consumer interests and animal welfare. There is a general consensus that these non-trade concerns, which cover very different societal aspirations and fears, must be addressed in EU external policy and in particular measures relating to international trade and foreign direct investment. There is also the expectation that the EU should act in all the international arenas to defend and keep these values at the highest level of protection. However, many of the trade measures introduced by developed countries to address non-trade concerns have been met by developing countries with cautious distrust if not with resistance or dissent. Developing countries, including China, often doubt the authenticity of such concerns that can be inspired by protectionist aims, rather than genuine non-trade concerns. Moreover, developing countries see these measures as an attempt by developed countries to impose their social, ethical or cultural values and preferences on exporting developing countries. Given the different and sometimes opposing interests of developing and industrialized countries, one may question whether international economic law may become a fairer system. If all the countries negotiated in international fora having always in mind the general common interests of the humanity as a whole, this would be the case. Unfortunately this is not the case: this is the reason why this project is timely and necessary. Amongst the new emerging economies, China is already playing a key role in drawing new rules of the game and it is important to evaluate, without prejudice and by taking into consideration its special context, China’s behavior internally and externally to understand which direction the world is being driven in by China.

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The growth in green energy investments worldwide is an important reality and rising trends are to be expected in the future. When designing the proper policy agenda for renewable energy investments, we must take into consideration the legal, regulatory and political frameworks in both developing and developed countries. gLAWcal aims at analyzing national approaches on the matter, combining scientific, social and economic considerations. At the same time, it wishes to develop partnerships among European and non-European institutions, so as to deliver an integrated approach on sustainable energy investments, combining global and local perspectives.
The need to prevent the abuse of intellectual property rights by right holders or the resort to practices which unreasonably restrain trade or adversely affect the international transfer of technology are topical issues that affects international relations. It is crucial for developing countries to achieve a substantive degree of IPR protection, not only for the promotion of creativity and innovation, but also for the maximization of technology transfer from developed countries. gLAWcal examines IPR regimes and their impact on competition with the objective of providing a better understanding of the competition-dimension of IP rights. Intellectual property rights are also extremely crucial to sustainable development in manifold ways, from the protection of traditional knowledge and cultural products, to access to essential medicines. Our organization focuses on the policy frameworks and institutions shaping debate and policy development in this sector.
In the last fifteen years, all around the world there has been a tendency to put much hope in the rise of civil society, its emergence being welcomed as a sign of progress towards a more democratic system. Many places in the world are today laboratories for change thanks to bottom-up movements supported by civil society organizations. By looking at contentious politics and how they converge and interact with institutional politics, we can better understand what directions a country’s political system and its governance is taking. gLAWcal supports collective forms of actions aimed at the creation of better societies, on many social issues, and in various geographical areas.
Improvements in people’s economic wellbeing have increased citizen demands for a cleaner environment. As societies undergo the transition to industrial development and modernity, their citizens begin to concern themselves with needs and wants beyond the material, including the protection of the environment. However, growing levels of environmental consciousness and awareness are often not matched by proper environmental legislation enforcement at the local level. gLAWcal looks at environmental rights developments in developing countries, and aims at delivering policy advices and capacity building support in areas where law implementation is lacking. With this purpose, our organization seeks to improve environmental protection not only for the benefit of the populations directly affected, but also for the sake of the entire planet.
Globalization, and the consequent international exchange of goods, services, cultures, ideas, has brought increased wealth for many on the one hand, while exerting pressure on core societal values both in developed and developing countries on the other hand. Public opinion and policy makers have warned against the threat posed by international trade and liberalization to policies and measures meant to protect the so-called non-trade concerns (NTC), such as environmental protection, sustainable development, good governance, cultural rights, labour rights, public health, social welfare, national security, food safety, access to knowledge, consumer interests and animal welfare.When trying to protect these issues, developed countries have put into place trade measures that have encountered resistance or dissent in developing countries, being perceived as protectionist actions or as an attempt by the importing countries to impose their social, ethical and cultural values on exporting countries.The challenge of integrating Non-Trade Concerns embodies the willingness to overcome national egoisms and embrace universally a number of fundamental values, creating an ethical and juridical platform to win over cultural differences and issues of national sovereignty. gLAWcal’s research aims at identifying ways to protect NTC within international economic law. By shedding new light on developing countries’ trends towards inclusion of NTC in the domestic and international arena, gLAWcal provides a comprehensive perspective on law enforcement, creating a bridge between the international and the domestic realities.

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