About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

50 J. World Trade 587 (2016)
The Protection of Labour Rights in Trade Agreements: The Case of the EU-Columbia Agreement

handle is hein.kluwer/jwt0050 and id is 611 raw text is: 

     The Protection of Labour Rights in Trade

     Agreements: The Case of the EU-Colombia


                    Axel  MARx,   Brecht  LEIN  & Nicohs   BRANDO
     In response to the disappointing progress at the multilateral level, trading powers like the
     European Union  (EU) have increasingly used their market access power as leverage to promote
     non-trade objectives with third countries. Through so-called 'Trade & Sustainable Development
     Chapters', the EU's new generation of regional and bilateral trade agreements include explicit
     provisions on labour rights promotion, Corporate Social Responsibility and environmental
     sustainability. While legal scholars have commented extensively on these provisions, little is
     known  about  their practical application. With regard to labour rights in particular, the
     International Labour Organization has noted the lack of empirical evidence on the effects of
     integrating labour rights provisions in trade agreements. Based on extensive desk research and a
     series of interviews in Brussels and Bogoti, the present article aims to bridge this gap by providing
     insights into how the practical application of labour provisions and monitoring mechanisms plays
     out in a particular country context. Our findings identify significant shortcomings in both the
     design and application of the current sustainability chapters, affecting not only their effectiveness
     but also the credibility of the EU as a normative actor as a whole.


The  European   Union's  (EU's) guiding norms  are enshrined in EU  primary  law. These
fundamental   values include the respect for human   dignity, freedom  and  democracy,
equality and  the rule  of law, human   rights, the sustainable management of global
natural resources and the commitment to preserving and improving the quality of the
environment   (TEU,   Art. 2). Article 21 of the Lisbon Treaty subscribes to these values,
identifying them  as 'general provisions on the Union's  external action'. As such, any
aspect ofEU   foreign policy, including trade, is required to consistently and coherently
'consolidate and support  democracy,   the rule of law, human  rights and the principles
of international law' (TEU,  Art. 21, 2-b).

Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven
    All authors contributed equally to the writing of this article. Dr Axel Marx (axel.marx@ggs.kuleuven.
    be) is Deputy Director of the KU Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies and is main contact
    for this paper. Brecht Lein (brecht.lein@ggs.kuleuven.be) and Nicolis Brando (nicolas.brando@ggs.
    kuleuven.be) are Research Fellows and PhD candidates of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance

Marx, Axel, Lein, Brecht & Brando, Nicolis. 'The Protection of Labour Rights in Trade Agreements: The
Case of the EU-Colombia Agreement'. Journal of world trade 50, no. 4 (2016): 587-610.

0 2016 Kluwer Law International BV, The Netherlands

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most