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Working Beyond the Border: European Union Trade Agreements and International Labour Standards

This ESRC-funded project investigates the EU's commitment to tackle the social dimensions of globalisation through its trade policy. It focuses on the EU pledge “to put more of its commercial weight behind efforts to promote social standards and decent work in bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations”. The labour standards provisions contained in “new generation” free trade agreements (FTAs) has been trumpeted as a key policy mechanism for achieving this.

Initial findings from this research project have identified serious limitations to the EU's current model and have suggested a number of issues that need to be addressed.

For more information about this project, please contact James Harrison (