Mapping Variation of Civil Society Involvement in EU Trade Agreements: A CSI Index
Civil society has apparently been granted an important role in the monitoring of the sustainable development chapters in the new generation European Union (EU) trade agreements. While a debate about the role and functioning of these civil society mechanisms is emerging, we lack a profound comparative analysis of the treaty provisions establishing them. In order to address this gap and to map the extent to which civil society is included in the agreements, a Civil Society Involvement (CSI) Index is developed inductively and applied to the ten relevant EU trade agreements. It concludes that although some form of template is used, large variation exists. A distinction is made between three categories of CSI score: high (Canada, Korea), medium (Georgia, Moldova, Vietnam, Ukraine), and low (Central America, Singapore, Peru-Colombia, Ecuador). The outcome also reveals interesting nuances within these categories and calls for further research on the rationale for and consequences of this variation.