2013 - April 19: ‘EU environmental norms and third countries: the EU as a global role model?’

The workshop is the second event of CLEER’s ‘Commercial power Europe: advancing societal and environmental goals through trade relationsproject, implemented with the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) of the European Union.

The Treaty of Lisbon formally introduced a role for the EU in promoting sustainable development outside its own territory. The EU is thus asked to exert influence globally and pursue sustainable development objectives beyond its commercial interests. It is doing so through sustainability criteria for biofuels exported to Europe that should prevent destruction of tropical forests, by new rules on the import of wood into Europe that should stimulate sustainable forestry (FLEGT regulation), and by having both EU and non-EU airlines flying to Europe join in the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS). A similar ´unilateral´ move is being investigated for the maritime transport sector if negotiations in international fora remain without result, as they did for aviation. Furthermore, the Commission, the EBRD, the EIB a.o. committed themselves to apply EU environmental standards to projects financed outside the EU.

Questions arising here include: (i) does the EU use its commercial and other instruments for sustainability purposes in an efficient, consistent and credible manner vis-à-vis its trading partners?; (ii) how are sustainability objectives to operate in the new EU investment policy?; and, (iii) could these EU practices form a workable example globally for international (economic) organizations or guide policies of other countries?

The workshop is structured so as to follow up and expand on the focus of the CLEER workshop of 9 November 2012 on ‘Linking trade and non-c0mmercial interest: the EU as a global role model?’. The organisers invite academics, legal and policy experts, policy-makers, stakeholders and practitioners to discuss the modalities of the EU employing trade and other instruments so as to promote sustainable development including protection of the environment.

Particular attention will be given to issues such as the quest for consistency in the conduct of EU external policy and institutional coordination within the EU, the ongoing drafting of the EU investment policy and the WTO compatibility of the instruments employed by the European Union. 

Please click here for the programme and more information.