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24 May 2023

The clauses for the protection of labour rights and the environment in the European Union's Preferential Trade Agreements : A critical analysis

Daniel Damásio Borges

Universidade Estadual Paulista, UNESP

Daniel Damásio Borges

On Wednesday, May 24th, we had the privilege of hosting Professor Daniel Damásio Borges from Paulista State University (UNESP) at the Rio School on Global Governance, Democracy, and Human Rights. The event was organised by the FGV Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on EU-South America Global Governance and co-funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ Programme.

During his lecture, Professor Damásio shed light on preferential trade agreements and their role in the current crisis of the multilateral trading system.

Professor Daniel Damásio explored the European Union's assertive trade policy, incorporating clauses to protect the environment and labour rights in their agreements. This has sparked a contentious debate, with some advocating for indispensable safeguards against social and environmental setbacks, while others argue that these clauses merely serve protectionist interests.

Emphasising the need for critical analysis, Professor Damásio highlighted the significance of examining the wording, application, and interpretation of these clauses. This research is particularly relevant for Brazil, given the country's growing international scrutiny of its social and environmental policies.

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