The EU's weak promotional policy towards sustainability in its free trade arguments is up for revision. Labour and environmental standards need to be tightened. They were given a boost on balance by a remarkable panel ruling of January 2021 in the long-standing EU-Korea labour dispute. Compliance ought to be subject to regular dispute settlement between governments. Sanctions must be added to the EU's toolbox, going beyond trade retaliation. Private stakeholders should become more involved in monitoring and enforcement, both at the international and at the domestic level. All this will put an extra responsibility on the EU and its Member States to protect their labour force and the environment as well.