Table of Contents

Global Governance through Trade

Global Governance through Trade

EU Policies and Approaches

Leuven Global Governance series

Edited by Jan Wouters, Axel Marx, Dylan Geraets and Bregt Natens

The 'new generation' of EU trade policies aims to advance public goods - such as promoting sustainable development, protecting human rights and enhancing governance in third states. These developments raise important questions surrounding extraterritoriality, coherence and legitimacy. In Global Governance through Trade leading scholars provide a cohesive overview of relevant papers and case studies to answer these questions and provide an in-depth assessment of the European Union's new trade policies.

Chapter 1: Global governance through trade: an introduction

Axel Marx, Bregt Natens, Dylan Geraets and Jan Wouters

Subjects: law - academic, international economic law, trade law, regulation and governance, politics and public policy, international relations, regulation and governance


It has become a commonplace to say that the multilateral institutions which have been set up since the end of the Second World War are currently facing a severe crisis. After the end of the Cold War, everything had looked so promising: an era of international cooperation dawned, in which the United Nations (UN) received a new boost; a great number of multilateral treaties were concluded (from the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol) and important new international institutions saw the light of day (from the World Trade Organization (WTO) to the International Criminal Court). In Europe, the European integration process yielded new highlights, with the Maastricht Treaty’s creation of a European Union (EU or Union), which deepened the internal integration through the gradual implementation of an Economic and Monetary Union, and made the EU a more cohesive international actor, pursuing a set of norms and values on a global scale (Wouters et al., 2012). However, the optimism of the 1990s seems to have ceded to the pessimism of the new millennium.