EU trade and investment agreements with 'like-minded' partners: acting together in facing global challenges?

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The European welfare state model has fostered social, environmental, health and consumer policies, achieving a high level of protection. Sustainable development that balances economic growth, environmental protection and social justice is one of the key objectives of the EU, implemented also in its external trade and investment policy. The EU is currently negotiating progressive FTAs with Australia and New Zealand. Already concluded EU trade and investment agreements with third States include sustainable development commitments and a new adjudication system for investment disputes, replacing the controversial investor-State dispute settlement. In implementing new standards in its bilateral agreements, the EU acts as an entrepreneur of norms in the field of international trade and investment, intending to strike a balance between free trade and protections for investors on the one hand, and the values and protective standards enshrined in EU treaties on the other. Importantly, FTAs offer for the EU an opportunity to influence the trade agenda of its ‘like-minded’ partners. This paper explores how are political messages of like-mindedness implemented in respective legal standards and what are the potential implications of the existing differences between the EU and its like-minded partners in addressing emerging global challenges, such as climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-41
Number of pages17
JournalSt Antony's International Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


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