This blog post provides an early analysis of the ‘non-regression’ provisions on Labour and Social Standards in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). After considering the ‘non-regression’ provisions in the context of the TCA as a whole, it contrasts the provisions with measures of EU law. It then turns to elaborate the content of the provisions. Finally, some aspects of their enforcement are discussed.
On the occasion of the UK’s ongoing re-negotiation of the placeholding UK-Canada Free Trade Continuity Agreement rolled over last year from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU, it is useful to draw attention to Canada’s newly issued model Foreign Investment Promotion Agreement (FIPA). Upgraded from the 2014 version, the 2021 model FIPA sets out Canada’s starting asks for its trading partners in the field of investment – a key feature of modern Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) as well as a vital contributor to the economies of both countries. In 2019, the inward stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UK from Canada was £20.0 billion accounting for 1.3% of the total UK inward FDI stock.
In July 2019, seven European citizens filed a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) entitled “Ensuring Common Commercial Policy conformity with EU Treaties and compliance with international law”. The European Citizens’ Initiative is a procedure, introduced in the Lisbon Treaty, to allow EU citizens to participate directly in the development of EU law and policy. Article 11(4) Treaty on European Union allows EU citizens to submit “any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties.” The ECI proposal must fall within the powers of the European Commission. The Regulation on the European citizens’ initiative (ECI regulation) sets out the main parameters for the procedure. The Commission may register an initiative if “none of the parts of the initiative manifestly falls outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties” (Article 6).
Eva Pander Maat
On 20 April 2021, a panel of esteemed experts convened to discuss the book ‘The EU as a Global Regulator for Environmental Protection’ by Dr. Ioanna Hadjiyianni. The Webinar was organised by the Institute for the Study of European Laws (ISEL) and Professor Elaine Fahey, the Jean Monnet Chair in Law and Transatlantic Relations at City, University of London, who also moderated the event. This blog post revisits key points raised during the webinar and summarizes its conclusions.
Hadjiyianni’s book applies a critical transnational lens to the EU’s regulatory power in global environmental governance. It focuses on Internal Environmental Measures with Extraterritorial Implications (IEMEIs): unilateral measures which regulate trade based on conduct which takes place beyond EU borders. The book evaluates IEMEIs from a legitimacy perspective. Whilst access to the EU market is technically optional, it often cannot easily be forgone by third country businesses. This yields IEMEIs significant coercive effects, which gives rise to external legitimacy gaps. These occur across three main fronts: accountability, participation and representation, and access to justice. The main objective of the book is to map the enabling and constraining role of the law in the legitimacy of IEMEIs, focusing on EU and WTO law. The book takes an impressively comprehensive and systemic approach to a pertinent phenomenon in EU law and global environmental governance. This rightfully led it to be shortlisted for the prestigious SLS Peter Birks Book Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship 2020. It is therefore unsurprising that Hadjiyianni’s book is praised by all discussants for its thoroughness and offered ample material for an engaging, multi-faceted discussion which could easily have continued far beyond the webinar.
Referred to by some as Facebook’s “supreme court”, the oversight board tasked with reversing or upholding Facebook’s content moderation decisions has ruled that the social media company’s ban of Donald Trump should be maintained.
The board upheld Facebook’s January 7 decision to ban then-President Trump from posting content on Facebook and Instagram, after his social media activity was partially blamed for inciting the violence at the January 6 Capitol riots, during which five people died. However, the board noted that indefinite suspensions were not described in Facebook’s content policies – and so the ban will be reviewed again in six months.