CLEER WP 2013/4 - Takács, Ott and Dimopoulos (eds)

Linking trade and non-commercial interests: the EU as a global role model?

Tamara Takács, Andrea Ott and Angelos Dimopoulos (eds)

CLEER's recent research project on Commercial power Europe: advancing societal and environmental goals through trade relations is devoted to the modalities which the EU has applied to seek respect for human rights, labour standards, economic development and the environment from its negotiating partners in return for market access, tariff concessions and preferential treatment. The aim of the project was to pool knowledge, stimulate and facilitate academic interaction in a specific area of EU external relations, create synergies between and raise awareness of global societal concerns. Specifically, the project aimed to assess the EU’s mission and potential to, and actions in employing economic ties toward third countries so as to promote ‘European values’ beyond its commercial interest.

 The present Working Paper collects the presentations of first CLEER Workshop organised under the research project, on 9 November 2012 at the T.M.C Asser Institute in The Hague. This CLEER Working Paper focuses on the long practice of conditionality in human rights, social and labour standards in the EU’s commercial relations and the Union’s firm advocacy to bring these issues on the table at global, multilateral trade talks. Special attention is given to the consistency in the use of enforcement mechanisms, the coherence of external action after the inclusion of commercial relations under one External Action heading and the efficiency of conditionality and enforcement, which can largely depend on the beneficiary countries’ cooperation in monitoring so as to allow rigorous scrutiny of the content and implementation of their relevant legislation by the Commission.


The research project was supported by the European Union under its Lifelong Learning Programme.

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CLEER WP 2013/4 - Takács, Ott and Dimopoulos (eds)