Legal Issues of Economic Integration

Volume 42 (2015)

Volume 42 (2015) / Issue 2

Joshua Waleson, 'Corporate Social Responsibility in EU Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements: Towards Sustainable Trade and Investment' (2015) 42 Legal Issues of Economic Integration, Issue 2, pp. 143–174


This article explores how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) could effectively be integrated into the trade and investment chapters of post-Lisbon comprehensive EU Free Trade Agreement (FTAs) and to which extent the various options could impose obligations on Multinational Enterprises (MNEs). It argues that promoting CSR in the trade aspects of a comprehensive FTA can, at most, indirectly impose obligations on MNEs due to the lack of vertical effect. Therefore, the likely evolution would be to include investor obligations that reflect CSR objectives in the investment chapters of comprehensive EU FTAs where there is vertical effect. By analysing the draft text of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) within the context of international developments as regards incorporating non-trade objectives in regional and bilateral FTAs and IIAs, this article aims to illustrate the Commission's approach towards introducing CSR in future comprehensive EU FTAs.

Copyright © 2015 Kluwer Law International
All rights reserved

ISSN: 1566-6573
ID: LEIE2015009