Prospects for greener EU trade deals assessed

Stakeholders diverge over plan to subject all trade agreements to sustainability impact assessments

A new framework for assessing the impact on sustainable development of major policy proposals has the potential to revolutionise EU agreements on trade liberalisation with third countries, but its benefits in practice are so far unproven, a conference in Brussels heard this week.

Procedures for carrying out sustainability impact assessments (SIAs) on all major European Commission policy proposals, including those for trade agreements, were published by the EU executive in June as part of a package of measures on better regulation.

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