Volume 56 (2019) / Issue 6
The EU is extremely active in negotiating bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with preferred trading partners (such as Canada, Colombia, Japan, Korea, Mercosur, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam). All these FTAs contain a sustainability chapter, also covering labour standards. They lack sanctions, however, and their enforcement has proven to be weak. In response to increasing calls notably from the European Parliament and civil society, the incoming von der Leyen Commission has promised improvements. This article sets forth a four-pronged proposal: tightening up the standards, upgrading an existing private complaints procedure in the EU as well as FTA dispute settlement, while introducing various sanctions.
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