Answer – Sustainability in EU FTAs in the context of the EU Court of Justice ruling – E-005347/2017

The European Court of Justice’s opinion given in the context of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement clarifies the division of competences between the European Union and its Member States for concluding free trade agreements (FTA). As confirmed by the Court’s opinion, Trade and Sustainable Development matters included in those FTAs fall within the EU’s exclusive competence. The Commission will comply with this opinion in all ongoing and future negotiations.

As part of EU’s values based agenda, the EU has included comprehensive Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapters in all our FTAs since the agreement with South Korea and proposed such chapters to our partners in all ongoing negotiations.

Moreover, over the last years, discussions to improve the effective implementation and enforcement of TSD provisions have been taking place. Given the diversity of views expressed in this context, the Commission has presented a non-paper on 11 July 2017 to the European Parliament and Council regarding the implementation of TSD chapters in FTAs.

This paper was also made publicly available(1). Based on the feedback it will receive, the Commission will evaluate ways to improve the implementation and effectiveness of TSD provisions.

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