The European Union, Preferential Trade Agreements, and the International Regulation of Sustainable Biofuels

18 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2016

See all articles by Arlo Poletti

Arlo Poletti

Luiss Guido Carli University - Department of Political Science

Daniela Sicurelli

University of Trento - Department of Sociology and Social Research

Date Written: March 2016

Abstract

The EU has increasingly turned to PTAs (Preferential Trade Agreements) to spread environmental norms internationally. We argue that the rationale for this strategy is to be found in the tensions between the rigidity of the domestic dynamics of positive integration in the EU and the increased bindingness of WTO negative integration commitments. Consensual decision‐making procedures in the EU both drive the stringency of environmental regulation and make it resistant to change. When such environmental standards are challenged in the WTO, incentives arise for the EU to push for international environmental rules that can grant immunity from WTO legal challenges. When changing WTO rules is not an option, PTAs become a valid alternative. We illustrate the plausibility of our argument through an in‐depth case study of the EU's attempt to include provisions defining environmental sustainability criteria for the production of biofuels in the ongoing negotiations for a PTA with Malaysia.

Keywords: European Union, environmental, regulation, sustainable biofuels, WTO

Suggested Citation

Poletti, Arlo and Sicurelli, Daniela, The European Union, Preferential Trade Agreements, and the International Regulation of Sustainable Biofuels (March 2016). JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 54, Issue 2, pp. 249-266, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2728037 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcms.12293

Arlo Poletti (Contact Author)

Luiss Guido Carli University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Viale Romania, 32
Rome, 00197
Italy

Daniela Sicurelli

University of Trento - Department of Sociology and Social Research ( email )

Via Inama 5
I-38100 Trento, 38152
Italy
+39 0 461 881483 (Phone)

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