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The EU's Role in Global GovernanceThe Legal Dimension$
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Bart Van Vooren, Steven Blockmans, and Jan Wouters

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199659654

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659654.001.0001

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Economic Partnership Agreements: Enhancing the Labour Dimension of Global Governance?

Economic Partnership Agreements: Enhancing the Labour Dimension of Global Governance?

(p.306) 19 Economic Partnership Agreements: Enhancing the Labour Dimension of Global Governance?
The EU's Role in Global Governance

Jeff Kenner

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the gradual shift towards an increasingly important and leading role for the EU in global labour governance. It develops three main propositions. First, promotion of the International Labour Organization's (ILO) interlinked human rights and sustainable development initiatives can underpin this objective in conjunction with the UN Global Compact and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises. Secondly, the EU can play a pivotal role in enhancing the labour dimension of globalization by acting as an ally of the ILO on the global stage. The EU is uniquely equipped to facilitate the implementation of ILO policies in a way that is consistent with its duty to promote its own ‘values’, including equality and human rights, through its external actions. Of particular importance, is the strengthening of multilateral partnerships and deepening regional integration under the EU's longstanding relationship with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries, now under the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA). Thirdly, Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), adopted within the CPA framework, are among the most sophisticated regional trade and development instruments, and have the potential to contribute to policy coherence and good governance by reconciling trade and labour rights with sustainable development objectives. The EU-CARIFORUM EPA, the first EPA with Caribbean ACP countries, is explored as a potential model for this approach.

Keywords:   European Union, International Labour Organization, global labour governance, Cotonou Partnership Agreement, Economic Partnership Agreements

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