Achieving environmental objectives in the framework of trade agreements
focusing on the effectiveness of the Eu-Korea free trade agreement (2010)
With the proliferation of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) to address the global environmental issues, the European Union adopted a bilateral trade agreement as one of the primary tools to promote its objective of sustainable development. ‘Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter (TSD Chapter)’ have been included in its several free trade agreements with third countries and led the Parties to recognise their commitments to contributing the objective of sustainable development as well as to promoting international trade. However, the effectiveness of TSD chapters to promote the objectives of sustainable development has not received much scholarly attention. This research delves into the EU-Korea FTA, which was concluded in 2010, to discover the effectiveness of the TSD Chapter with a specific focus on the environmental provisions. As the first FTA which was implemented TSD Chapter under the Global Europe Strategy, the EU-Korea FTA gives guidelines and benchmark implications in assessing the EU’s strategy and its later FTAs. This paper examines the impact of the TSD chapter of the EU-Korea FTA on four dimensions: (1) an assessment of the strength of the monitoring mechanisms of the commitment to the TSD chapter, (2) implementation of the TSD Chapter into Korea’s domestic environmental laws, (3) Korea’s commitment to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), and (4) changes in Korea’s FTA strategy vis-á-vis other countries with regard to environmental provisions in FTA. With the evaluation of the effectiveness of the TSD Chapter, this paper concludes the assessment by comparing the EU’s strategy to the US’ as well as discussing the overall trend made by other actors.
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