Dr Velluti recently gave a presentation entitled ‘The Evolving Social Dimension of EU External Trade Relations – Some Reflections on Coherence’ at the International Workshop on Fostering Labor Rights in the Global Economy, held at the KU Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies of the University of Leuven on 20 and 21 February 2014 and co-organised together with GRESI, a scientific research community funded by the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research (FWO) and coordinated by the University of Ghent. The Workshop is part of the large-scale EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) research project on “Fostering Human Rights among European Policies” (FRAME).
The paper provided a critical review of how labour provisions have been incorporated in the European Union’s (EU) international trade agreements and the various goals pursued in combination with the mechanisms employed to achieve them. This analysis is particularly prominent and made necessary by fundamental changes introduced by the 2009 Treaty of Lisbon in relation to the EU’s Common Commercial Policy (CCP) and the increased powers of the European Parliament which now has to give its consent to the ratification of international trade agreements. In examining how the EU has been increasingly inserting human rights clauses and social norms in its international trade agreements with third countries, Dr Velluti explored certain coherence, consistency and legitimacy aspects of the EU’s role as a global human rights actor which directly concern the future trajectory of social and labour rights in EU external trade relations.