Multinational Enterprises and Human Rights

Multinational Enterprises and Human Rights

Obligations under EU Law and International Law

Alexandra Gatto

This well-researched book examines how the European Union could do more to ensure that EU-based multinational enterprises (MNEs) respect human rights when operating in third world countries. Alexandra Gatto identifies the primary obligations of MNEs as developed by international law, and investigates how the EU has promoted the respect of human rights obligations by the MNEs to date.

Chapter 9: Measures Addressed to Host States in the Common Commercial Policy of the European Union

Alexandra Gatto

Subjects: business and management, corporate social responsibility, law - academic, european law, human rights, public international law, politics and public policy, human rights


9.1 INTRODUCTION Having considered, in Chapter 8, the integration of human rights in EU development cooperation and cooperation policies, the analysis now turns to the integration of human rights into the common commercial policy (CCP) of the EC, with particular reference to the GSP scheme and the EC– Association Agreement with Chile. The analysis of the CCP is relevant in the context of this book, since the EC uses unilateral trade measures to encourage compliance with human rights in developing countries. In this respect, the GSP scheme also falls within the category of EC measures directed at third countries that can be used with a view to introduce compliance by MNEs with human rights standards. In addition to a widespread system of cooperation agreements with countries all over the world, the European Union grants preferential trade relations and other forms of preferential assistance to developing countries. Article 133 TEC1 confers on the European Community the exclusive competence to trade with third countries.2 In the GSP case3 the European Court of Justice acknowledged that the existence of a link with development issues does not cause a measure to be excluded from the sphere of the common commercial policy, as defined by the Treaty. It considered that it would no longer be possible to carry on any worthwhile common commercial policy if the community were not in a 1 2 Art. 188C, Treaty of Lisbon. The Treaty of Lisbon confirmed the exclusive character of the common commercial policy. Pursuant to Article 2B:...

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