Retooling the Sustainability Standards in EU Free Trade Agreements

Marco Bronckers, Giovanni Gruni

Research output: Indexed journal article Reviewpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-51
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of International Economic Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


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