In 2015, the international community adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which seek to end poverty and achieve sustainability worldwide by the year 2030. Subsequently, the European Union adopted its new Trade for All strategy, which reflects the EU’s commitment to pursue the SDGs through its trade policies. In the European Union, in particular in Germany, an intense debate is taking place about trade policy and its linkages to social and environmental concerns, especially in the context of EU trade and investment agreements with Canada and regional economic communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The question arises as how trade policy instruments have to be designed and adjusted in order to meet the requirements of the SDGs as well as the EU’s human rights obligations under the Lisbon Treaty.
The conference will bring together around 50 experts from academia and politics to discuss implications for European trade policy, which derive from the SDGs and the ongoing debate on human rights. The intention of the conference is to identify the ways in which sustainability and human rights standards can be strengthened in the implementation og the EU’s trade strategy.
ECDPM’s Kathleen van Hove will moderate the panel on ‘Human rights and sustainability in the preparation and implementation of economic partnership agreements and bilateral EU trade agreements.’