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 3: Good global governance through trade: constitutional moorings

Joris Larik

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


Ensuring good global governance through trade is not just a powerful idea,or a global ‘strategy’; it is also firmly anchored in the highest laws of the European Union (EU or Union) – its ‘constitutional charter’. According to the Treaty on European Union (TEU), the EU is to ‘promote an international system based on stronger multilateral cooperation and good global governance’ (Article 21(2)(h)) and ‘uphold and promote its values and interests’ (Article 3(5)) in its external relations. One crucial means to these lofty ends is the EU’s Common Commercial Policy (CCP). This policy is concerned a priori with the pursuit of goals at the heart of international trade, such as ‘free and fair trade’ (Article 3(5) TEU) and ‘the harmonious development of world trade, the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade and on foreign direct investment’ (Article 206 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU); see also Article 21(2)(e) TEU). However, as a textual innovation through the Lisbon Treaty reform, the CCP is henceforth to ‘be conducted in the context of the principles and objectives of the Union’s external action’ (Article 207(1) TFEU). Among these, we find now a plethora of foreign policy objectives – a ‘wish list for a better world’, if you will – which can be placed under the general conceptual umbrella of ‘good global governance’. ‘Global governance’ can be defined as ‘the management of global problems and the pursuit of global objectives through concerted efforts of states and other international actors’.

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