The Democratic Puzzle of 'Living' Megaregional Agreements: TTIP and TPP
in The Democratisation of EU International Relations through EU Law, ed. by J.S. Vara and S.R. Sanchez-Tabernero (Routledge 2018), pp. 97-114.
13 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2019
Date Written: 2018
This chapter analyses the implications of the EU’s recent practice of negotiating megaregional trade agreements for democratic participation in general and the European Parliament (EP) in particular. One of the key bones of contention in negotiating this new-generation type of trade deals is the move towards approximating regulatory issues that touch upon politically sensitive policies. This may pose democratic challenges by impinging on the degree of autonomous decision making that the negotiating parties are able to exercise in the areas concerned. Any centralisation of regulatory cooperation in order to liberalise trade and investment, with a view to maximising economic growth, is likely to have repercussions for domestic lawmaking and rulemaking. The present inquiry examines the role of parliaments within the dynamic of deep integration in the direction of regulatory convergence through so-called ‘living’ megaregional trade agreements. The objective is to assess the rationale for and identify avenues of legislative participation foreseen in international regulatory cooperation designs. To this end, the chapter centres on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), whose underlying regulatory philosophy sets a useful benchmark for debating ongoing or future deep trade negotiations, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which sheds further light on the transnational processes of the institutionalisation of regulatory approximation.
Keywords: European Parliament, regulatory cooperation, deep integration, trade agreements, democratic participation
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