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The EU, World Trade Law and the Right to Food

Rethinking Free Trade Agreements with Developing Countries

By: Giovanni Gruni
Media of The EU, World Trade Law and the Right to Food
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Published: 09-08-2018
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 224
ISBN: 9781509916214
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Studies in International Trade and Investment Law
RRP: £31.49
Online price : £25.19
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Loren Epson

About The EU, World Trade Law and the Right to Food

In recent years the European Union has developed a comprehensive strategy to conclude free trade agreements which includes not only prominent trade partners such as Canada, the United States and Japan but also numerous developing countries.

This book looks at the existing WTO law and at the new EU free trade agreements with the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa through the lens of the human right to adequate food. It shows how the clauses on the import and export of food included in recent free trade agreements limit the capacity of these countries to implement food security policies and to respect their human rights obligations. This outcome appears to be at odds with international human rights law and dismissive of existing human rights references in EU-founding treaties as well as in treaties between the EU and developing states.

Yet, the book argues against the conception in human rights literature that there is an inflexible agenda encoded in world trade law which is fundamentally conflictual with non-economic interests. The book puts forward the idea that the European Union is perfectly placed to develop a narrative of globalisation considering other areas of public international law when negotiating trade agreements and argues that the EU does have the competences and influence to uphold a role of international leadership in designing a sustainable global trading system. Will the EU be ambitious enough?

A timely contribution to the growing academic literature on the relation between world trade law and international human rights law, this book imagines a central role for the EU in reconciling these two areas of international law.

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction
I. Why a Book on Human Rights and International Trade Agreements?
II. Area of Research
III. Objective of the Book
IV. Book Outline
2. The Right to Food in International Law
I. Introduction
II. The Content of the Right to Food
III. State Duties
IV. The Right to Food and the Negotiation of Trade Agreements
V. Defragmenting International Law: Paths of Legal Dialogue between Human Rights and Trade Law and the Role of the EU
VI. Conclusions
3. Realising the Right to Food in the Global Food Market
I. Introduction
II. Market Failures
III. Limits of Development Aid and Domestic Policies
IV. Vulnerable Categories
V. The Role of the European Union
VI. Conclusions
4. The EU External Trade Policy and the EU External Food Security Policy
I. Introduction
II. The Influence of the EU on International Trade Law: Institutional Dimension
III. The EU Trade Strategy
IV. The Right to Food in the External Relations of the EU
V. Food Security in the Negotiations of Free Trade Agreements
VI. Conclusions
5. The Right to Food in the WTO
I. Introduction
II. Import Restrictions
III. Safeguards
IV. The Special Safeguards (SSG)
V. The Enabling Clause, Waivers and Free Trade Agreements
VI. Export Restrictions
VII. Conclusions
6. The EU–CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement
I. Introduction
II. The EU–CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement
III. Import Restrictions
IV. Safeguards
V. Export Restrictions
VI. Conclusions
7. The Economic Partnership Agreements between the EU and Sub-Saharan Africa
I. Introduction
II. The State of Negotiations between the EU and Africa
III. Sub-Saharan Africa's Economic and Legal Setting
IV. Import Restrictions
V. Safeguards
VI. Export Restrictions
VII. Conclusions
8. Conclusions
I. Introduction
II. Summary of the Main Findings of the First Four Chapters
III. Main Findings of the Case Studies
IV. An EU Trade Policy for Global Food Security
V. The EU, the Right to Food and Developing Countries


“This is a very well-crafted book. The structure is good, the analysis clear, and the arguments flow well, both in the chapters, as well as between them. The result is a very readable book... In essence, this is an excellent book that is an important addition to the literature. It is a 'must read' on the subject for both academics and students alike.” –  Fiona Smith, Professor of International Economic Law & Chair in Agri-Food Regulation, University of Leeds, Journal of International Economic Law

“As the EU continues its pursuit of trade liberalisation with countries at risk of inadequate food supply, Gruni's work is a well-written and valuable reminder of the limited attention paid by negotiators to the social impact of PTAs.” –  Chris Downes, Kent University, Brussels, Belgium, The Journal of World Investment & Trade

“Gruni has been able to achieve what few that write on this topic have done: provide a thoughtful and considered view that positions EU policy on trade and the right to food centre stage, at the nexus of a range of legal regimes ... Gruni's book is essential reading.” –  Gregory Messenger, Common Market Law Review

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