The Transformation of Regulatory Cooperation Through Its Inclusion in Free Trade Agreements: What Is Its Added Value?

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Table of Contents: I. Introduction. – II. Transatlantic regulatory cooperation outside an FTA structure. – III. FTA structures regulatory cooperation and regulation imperatives: conflict or harmony? – III.1. The changing nature of regulation. – III.2. Compatibility of regulation and FTA structures for regulatory cooperation. – IV. Tighter institutionalisation through inclusion in an FTA. – IV.1. On the nature of institutionalisation in European integration and beyond. – IV.2. Was transatlantic regulatory cooperation institutionalised? – V. Stronger legalisation through inclusion in an FTA. – V.1. The “obligation” element. – V.2. Evidence from regulatory cooperation included in FTAs beyond the EU. – VI. Conclusion.

Abstract: The nature of trade relations in the EU is changing. Free trade agreements (FTAs) are expanding their utility, turning into governance mechanisms of the EU armoury instead of pure trade-relation regulators. This transformative capacity primarily stems from the inclusion of commitments in FTAs that go beyond pure economic governance, such as the chapters on regulatory cooperation. Although regulatory cooperation does not constitute a new trend in EU trade, under the present state, it represents an original shift. Indeed, the placement of regulatory cooperation within a legally binding treaty is at odds with the past choices of negotiation and commitment. This Article addresses this dichotomy. By analysing the inclusion of regulatory cooperation in a legally binding treaty, the Author seeks to understand its contribution to the implementation of these commitments, drawing arguments from the past and present, intra and extra EU experiences.

Keywords: regulatory cooperation – institutionalisation – legalisation – FTAs – trade governance – regulation.

European Papers, Vol. 4, 2019, No 2, pp. 471-491
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/319

* PhD candidate, German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer, This Article is part of an ongoing PhD research. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie agreement No 721916.


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