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Resolving the Tensions between EU Trade and Non-Trade Objectives: Actors, Norms, and Processes


Friday 10 November 2017

Achter Sint Pieter 200, 3512 HT, Utrecht



The workshop explores the actors, norms, and processes that are involved in balancing and resolving the tensions between the protection and promotion of specific principles and objectives and the EU’s external trade policy. The focus of the workshop is on the recent issues concerning the EU’s unilateral and bilateral actions (as opposed to multilateral action) in the realm of EU’s external trade law and policy. 


The EU’s Common Commercial Policy (which encompasses EU trade and investment law and policy) is not only a tool to strengthen or protect Europe’s commercial and strategic interests. It is also an important and powerful foreign policy tool. Under Article 21 TEU, the EU’s action on the international scene shall be guided by the principles that lay at its core, such as democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the principles of international law. Article 21 also aspires to safeguard a number of objectives and interests that are not economic in nature (i.e. to preserve peace, strengthen international security, preserve the environment). As Article 207 TFEU clearly instructs, the EU’s trade policy must be conducted in the context of those principles and objectives.

In this regard, the EU trade policy is confronted with a classical dilemma. The European Commission pursues multiple objectives to, on the one hand, uphold Europe’s commercial and strategic interests, protect the free trade and safeguard the EU social and regulatory model, and, on the other hand, protect and promote a number of non-trade values. However, frictions may arise/occur/be observed between these commercial objectives and the goal of promoting specific non-trade values. The level (and nature?) of these tensions varies depending on the context-dependent interpretation of values and objectives by various institutions and actors involved in the formulation and implementation of the EU’s trade and investment policy.

Given that the process of externalization of the EU’s trade and non-trade objectives ultimately has impact on the EU itself, as well as third countries and private actors therein, it is important to examine the questions of how coherent, effective and legitimate the Union’s action in this area is.


Venue: Raadzaal, Achter Sint Pieter 200, Utrecht


Registration  - Coffee and tea


9:30 -11:45

Morning  session


Chair:  Ingrid Koning (Utrecht University)


Opening  by Urszula Jaremba (Utrecht University): External Effects of EU law project.

Csongor Istvan Nagy  (University of Szeged): Trade interests and value standards: can the greedy  and the moral be good friends?

Eva Kassoti (The Hague  University): Respect for international law and EU trade policy in situations  of contested sovereignty.

Rita Griguolaite (University  of Sussex): Facilitating the analysis of market and non-market values choice  in the EU trade policy by the concept of public policy values: a case study  in energy sector.


12:00 – 13:00

Lunch  break


13:00 - 14:30

1st  afternoon session


Chair:  Machiko Kanetake (Utrecht University)

 Anna Marhold (Tilburg  University): Externalizing energy policy in the EU Free trade Agreements: a  cognitive dissonance between promoting sustainable development and ensuring  security of supply?

 Mihail Vatsov (University  of Edinburgh): Achieving sustainable fishing through trade agreements:  certain matters of coherence in the EU’s practice.

 Urszula Jaremba  (Utrecht University): External legitimacy of GSP+.




14:30– 15:00

Coffee break


15:00 – 17:00

2nd  afternoon session

Chair:  Urszula Jaremba

Paolo Farah (West  Virginia University, USA; gLAWcal - Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable  Development, UK): The Role of the European Union’s Law in the international  climate change regime.

Ferdi de Ville & Marie  Musch (Ghent University): European Union policies in the trade-climate nexus:  analytical framework and the environmental goods agreement case.

Anne-Carlijn Prickartz  & Isabel Staudinger (University of Salzburg): Effective tool or symbolic  gesture: the use and enforcement of human rights provisions in the European  Union’s Bilateral Trade Agreements.

Machiko Kanetake  (Utrecht University): EU export control and human rights.




17:00- 17:45