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Sustainability Vs. Free Trade - Establishing an Environmentally Conscious Trade Policy in the EU

Balazs Horvathy

Thanks to the Treaty of Lisbon, the Common Commercial Policy (CCP) became subordinate to the general principles of the EU's external actions. Consequently the Union has to take into account not only of trade liberalisation ideas, but principles outside the conventional trade policy which include the objectives of sustainable development and environmental protection. The aim of the proposed paper is to conceive a possible notion of the sustainability as objective of the CCP, moreover, it intends to describe its impacts on operating CCP. The premise of the analysis is that the EU has to face a twofold conflict. The sustainability must be reconciled with other goals of the CCP, and in this regard, the paper seeks for relationship between these objectives and makes an attempt at establishing a hierarchy of them. Besides, the integration of the sustainability in the EU's trade policy agenda presumably will lead to conflicts to be solved on international level, e.g. with WTO. The paper will conclude by stating that the sustainability objective should not be regarded as a 'conflict causer' but an opportunity to carry the environmentally conscious trade policy into effect.

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