European Business Law Review

Volume 28 (2017)

Volume 28 (2017) / Issue 2

Wybe Th. Douma, 'The Promotion of Sustainable Development through EU Trade Instruments' (2017) 28 European Business Law Review, Issue 2, pp. 197–216


The obligation to integrate environmental protection into other policy areas stems from 1987 and was refined by the Treaty of Lisbon. The EU is to ensure coherence of trade, environmental protection and sustainable development, inside and outside the EU. This article investigates how the Union operationalised this duty where its trade agreements are concerned, and whether this actually contributes to sustainable development.

It is set out how in 1999, Trade Sustainability Impact Assessments of proposed new trade agreements were introduced, how the system developed over time, and how actual provisions on sustainable development and environment were introduced from 2008 onwards. Furthermore, it is examined what these provisions entail. Given the identified weaknesses, evaluating and where necessary strengthening these parts of trade agreements is called for. An investigation on improvements to the environmental provisions of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) could form a step in the right direction.

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ISSN: 0959-6941
ID: EULR2017014