Seminar on Free Trade Agreements and Constitutional Rights

2 May 2012, 14.00 - 17.15 at the EUIA Conference location, Brussels

The EU is a promoter of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), as part of broader agreements, with non-European parties. Over the last two decades a few trends have thereby been observed: the growing scope of the new generation FTAs covering more and more non-tariff issues (FDI, IPRs, services), including issues not dealt with at the WTO; the growing contestation of this type of agreements by civil society, interest groups and sometimes governments; and judicialization of trade policy due to the growing tensions between their contents and constitutional rights and the implementation of new instruments to protect these individual and/or collective rights.

The United Nations University’s Institute for Comparative Regional Integration Studies and the College of Europe will organize a Jean Monnet Workshop on the interactions between constitutional rights and free trade agreements. The aim of this event is to start a systematic assessment of this problématique by studying, first, how European courts have been dealing with these potential sources of conflict, and second, how courts in partner countries and regions deal with it, especially where activist courts are operating.

The workshop will be held on 2 May 2012 in the sidelines of the EU in International Affairs Conference in Brussels. It will take place at the Flemish Royal Academy of Arts and Science, Hertogsstraat 1, 1000 Brussels. For more information please contact Sofie Dewilde ( or see