Mapping Variation of Civil Society Involvement in EU Trade Agreements: A CSI Index

Publication Date: 
05 June 2018
Kluwer Law Online
Publication Language: 
Appearing in: 
European Foreign Affairs Review

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.