State-to-state dispute settlement provisions in the EU-Canada comprehensive economic and trade agreement

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On 26 September 2014 the European Union and Canada announced the conclusion of the negotiations of a new agreement that would open the doors for new business opportunities and enhanced economic co-operation, creating a trade bridge between two economic powers. The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a secondgeneration agreement, since it is not merely focused on the abolition of tariffs but more properly on the abolition of nontariff barriers. The agreement also contains innovative stateto state dispute settlement provisions. The purpose of this article is to analyze these provisions but also to underline the extent to which they represent an innovation in comparison with the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU). In order to do so, the article offers an overview of the major salient issues on dispute settlement in preferential trade agreements as well as on the EU-Canada CETA state-to-state dispute settlement provisions and compares the latter to the WTO DSU. The analysis sheds light on the rather more simple nature of the EU-Canada CETA dispute settlement chapter compared to that of the WTO DSU because of the absence of an appellate review stage, which will probably be balanced by a more incisive role for the CETA Joint Committee. The analysis of the contours of the dispute settlement chapter of the CETA concludes with the identification of the major similarities with the WTO DSU but also by identifying the major improvements in the EU-Canada CETA, if compared with the WTO DSU. Ultimately, this article shows how CETA has reinforced the economic partnership between the European Union and Canada without disregarding civil society participation and transparency in the dispute settlement phase.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalTransnational Dispute Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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