Regulating through trade: The re-calibration of EU deep and comprehensive FTAs

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Contemporary international trade politics is primarily focused on deep integration – that is, the removal of regulatory barriers to trade. The EU, in particular, has long been one of the main proponents of the use of trade agreements to promote regulatory disciplines on issues such intellectual property regulation, procurement, services, competition and investment protection. This so-called ‘EU regulatory agenda’ has rapidly gathered pace over the past decade and culminated, more recently, in attempts to conclude mega-regional trade agreements such as the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Such agreements have, however, proved highly contentious and are being fiercely contested - both because of their potential impact on the regulatory autonomy of the EU and its Member States, and their potential adverse effect on third countries and the multilateral trading system. This paper discusses the evolution of the EU regulatory agenda, the manner in which the agenda has been contested from a constitutional and policy perspective and the extent to which the EU has (or has not) responded to such contestations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-421
Number of pages45
JournalPace International Law Review
Issue number2
Early online date16 Oct 2019
Publication statusEarly online date - 16 Oct 2019


  • EU; FTAs; WTO;


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