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      Policy vs practice: The use, implementation and enforcement of human rights clauses in the European Union’s international trade agreements

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          Abstract

          In the mid-1990s, the EU adopted a general policy of including human rights clauses in all of its international trade agreements. Through these human rights clauses, in addition to other tools such as Human Rights Dialogue and sanctions, the EU seeks to promote the protection of human rights in its external relations. There are, however, some issues arising regarding the content, use, implementation and activation of these clauses. Not only do human rights clauses in different agreements vary in wording and scope, but also the actual implementation and enforcement by the EU differ from case to case, raising questions as to the selective character and the consistency of the EU’s action and, consequently, as to the EU’s credibility as a normative international actor. The main deficiencies in this regard are the selective and at times inconsistent inclusion and activation of human rights clauses, as shown by an examination of the EU’s agreements and their implementation and enforcement in practice. This article examines human rights clauses in the EU’s international trade agreements and the implementation and enforcement thereof, in order to shed light on the promises and pitfalls of the EU’s human rights efforts.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          EWLR
          Europe and the World: A law review
          Eur. World
          UCL Press
          2399-2875
          26 June 2019
          : 3
          : 1
          Affiliations
          [1 ]PhD Candidate and University Assistant, Department of Public, International and European Law/Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies (SCEUS) of the University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria; anne-carlijn.prickartz@ 123456sbg.ac.at
          [2 ]PhD Candidate and Member of the Doctoral College of the Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies (SCEUS)/Department of Public, International and European Law of the University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
          Author notes
          Article
          EWLR-3-2
          10.14324/111.444.ewlj.2019.12
          © 2019, Anne-Carlijn Prickartz and Isabel Staudinger.

          This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited • DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ewlj.2019.12.

          Page count
          Pages: 23
          Categories
          Article
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          A.-C. Prickartz, I. Staudinger, ‘Policy vs practice: The use, implementation and enforcement of human rights clauses in the European Union’s international trade agreements’ [2019] 3(1): 2. Europe and the World: A law review [23]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ewlj.2019.12.

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          Europe and the World: A law review
          Volume 3, Issue 1

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