My latest article, titled ‘External Consultants as Actors in European Trade and Investment Policymaking’ has been published in the Netherlands Yearbook of International Law 2017 (48), 2018, pp. 109-138. Here is the abstract:
Over the last several years impact assessment studies have become a standard tool in trade and investment policymaking processes. Within the European Union there are two types of studies that examine the impact of trade policies: Impact Assessments (IAs) and Sustainability Impact Assessments (SIAs). Two characteristics of the latter are particularly noteworthy. First, SIAs signal an evolution in the tools employed in the trade and investment policymaking process. They analyse the potential economic, social, human rights, and environmental impacts of ongoing trade negotiations. Second, SIAs are an instrument for cooperation between an enlarged number of actors with an interest in the negotiation process. There are three main players involved in the conduct of SIAs: consultants, stakeholders, and the Commission’s services. SIAs are independent assessments carried out by external consultants during trade negotiations. Consultants should be perceived as policy actors, not true trade policymakers. Furthermore, the actorness of consultants should not be overstated, as several factors lead to a diminished influence of consultants in the policymaking process. Since they are not stakeholders, and much less policymakers, consultants should not be expected to be ‘drivers of change’. The negotiation of trade and investment policies has always been, and will continue to be, an inherently political process.
This Friday I will be taking part in ‘”The Belt and Road” Forum on China-Africa Investment and Legal Service’, organized by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Shenzhen Mediation Center, Economy Service Bureau of Guangming New District, and JunZeJun Shenzhen Law Office. The Forum will take place at the Huaxia Hall of Wuzhou Guest House, in Shenzhen, China. I will be talking about ‘Risk Management in Portuguese-speaking African Countries’.
Image: Wikimedia commons
On 14 and 15 June the Faculty of Law of the Chinese University of Hong Kong will host a Conference on “The EU and its Partners in Global Governance: Trade, Investment, Taxation and Sustainable Development”. The conference is coordinated by Professor Jan Wouters (University of Leuven) and Professor Julien Chaisse (The Chinese University Hong Kong) in the context of the multi-year research project ‘EUCROSS’ (‘The European Union at the Crossroads of Global Order’). On 14 June I will be presenting a paper titled ‘The Future of Global Trade: European Lessons and Challenges’. You can download the full programme here.
On 8 June the Seoul National University School of Law will host the conference ‘International Economic Law in the Age of Anti-Globalization – Implications on Asia Pacific States’. The conference is sponsored by the Seoul National University, the University of Wisconsin Law School and the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board. I will be presenting a paper titled ‘Reinforcing the WTO’s Dispute Settlement System: Towards a True World Trade Court’. You can read the conference programme here.