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  • Policy Seminar: Trade and Sustainable Development Chapters in EU Trade Agreements: Can current limitations be overcome? Thursday 2nd March 2017, 16.00-18.00, University of Warwick Brussels Office
    Our policy seminar will present recent research findings which highlight the limitations in the functioning of labour provisions in trade and sustainable development chapters (TSD chapters) in EU trade agreements. The researchers will set out the aims of the TSD chapters and explain the key problems in achieving them. This will provide the basis for a discussion between all seminar participants about possible ways of overcoming the limitations that have been identified.

Key questions for discussion will include:

  • What results and impacts have the monitoring and dialogue mechanisms within the TSD chapters achieved so far? Can they function more effectively in the future? Can the role of civil society become more significant?
  • To what extent can:
    (1) increased prioritisation of TSD chapters by key actors;
    (2) better resourcing of the TSD chapters' key functions;
    (3) greater enforceability of provisions; and/or
    (4) better recognition of the different issues faced in different trading partner contexts overcome current limitations?
  • Do we have to look beyond the 'TSD chapter' model to ensure that the social dimensions of EU FTAs are appropriately addressed?

This policy seminar originates from an ESRC-funded research project entitled ''Working Beyond the Border: European Union Trade Agreements and International Labour Standards.''

The project team are Dr. James Harrison and Dr. Ben Richardson from the University of Warwick and Dr. Mirela Barbu, Dr. Liam Campling and Professor Adrian Smith from Queen Mary University of London.  

  • ‘Working Beyond the Border: European Union Trade Agreements and Labour Standards’, Presentation  at Yonsei University, Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul, 21 January 2016
  • ‘Working beyond the border?: European Union trade (and investment?) agreements and labour standards’, workshop on Rethinking International Investment Law: Civic Advocacy, Representation and Participation in the International Investment Regime, an International Economic Law in Context Workshop, 3 – 4 May 2016, University of Warwick.
  • ‘Towards responsible global trade? Global value chains and labour standards in the European Union free trade agreements’, European Urban and Regional Studies conference, Chania, Crete, Greece, September 2016, and workshop on Global Production Networks and Social Upgrading: Labour and Beyond workshop, University of Manchester, May 2016.
  • ‘Governing labour standards through the European Union’s trade agreements: civil society and the limits of dialogue and cooperative engagement’, paper presented at Governance and Economic Integration through Free Trade Agreements workshop, Brussels, July 2016.
  • ‘EU Free Trade Agreements and global value chains’, paper presented at Governance and Economic Integration through Free Trade Agreements workshop, Brussels, July 2016.
  • ‘Labour provisions in the European Union-Republic of Moldova Association Agreement’, International Labour Organisation seminar on Labour Provisions in Trade Agreements: Design, Implementation and Stakeholder Involvement, European Economic and Social Committee, Brussels, December 2016.
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