Academic Paper

EU Trade Sustainability Impact Assessments: Revisiting the Consultation Process

Hoekman, B. and Rojas-Romagosa, H. (2022) ‘EU Trade Sustainability Impact Assessments: Revisiting the Consultation Process’, Journal of International Economic Law, pp 45–60, Issue 1, Volume 25, March 2022

Published 20 July 2022

Trade sustainability impact assessments (SIAs) are the main tool used by the European Commission to assess the potential effects of trade policy initiatives and to engage with stakeholders. SIAs have two elements: a model-based quantitative analysis and a consultation process (CP). Both include a focus on a broad range of non-trade issues, many of which are included in sustainable development chapters of EU trade agreements. This paper argues for making CPs a more useful input into the design of trade cooperation. Building bridges between a revamped ex-ante CP and mechanisms that encompass public and private actors to support implementation, resolve problems, and assess progress over time could further help achieve trade and sustainable development goals.

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Bernard Hoekman

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