5The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement as a Norm Model for Sustainable Development Issues in the Future EU FTAs in Asia


Recent research has discussed the relationship between trade governance and sustainable development, for example, the ways that environmental issues can be governed in international settings. Much of the debate is about norms and normative power in trade policy and trade agreements, and a number of studies address the European Union (EU) as a norm promoter. This chapter aims to contribute to this discussion by investigating the EU’s recent free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan and debating whether the EU-Japan FTA can be regarded as a norm setter on sustainable development issues in the EU’s future FTAs in Asia. Based on interviews with trade policy experts, the EU is found to be the promoter of sustainable development issues in the negotiations with Japan. The final FTA text is relatively similar to the EU’s prior agreements in Asia, extending the sustainable development issues, which can be expected to guide the EU’s ongoing negotiations with Southeast Asian countries.

5.1. Introduction

This chapter considers how the issues related to sustainable development are formulated and included in the European Union’s (EU’s) free trade agreements (FTAs) and whether they reflect the aims of the parties in setting norms for international trade. We wish to add to some of the recent research that has discussed the relationship between trade governance ...

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