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法律翻译|欧盟-新西兰自由贸易区:履行贸易与可持续发展义务的新方法

法律翻译|欧盟-新西兰自由贸易区:履行贸易与可持续发展义务的新方法

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译者  |  高翊菲 华东政法大学 LL.B.

审稿  |  岳文豪 上海交通大学

           Cindy Wong University of Leeds LL.B.

编辑  |  玦珮 Vanderbilt LL.M. 

责编  |  王冰子 烟台大学本科

On 30 June 2022, the President of the EU Commission and the New Zealand Prime Minister jointly announced the successful termination of the negotiations for the creation of a new free trade area (FTA) between the European Union and New Zealand.


2022年6月30日,欧盟委员会主席与新西兰总理共同宣布,欧盟与新西兰两者就设立新自由贸易区(FTA)的谈判已圆满结束。


As for New Zealand, the commercial liberalization provided by the new FTA would determine a major economic impact since the EU is currently the 4th largest commercial partner of the country. In particular, the tariff elimination planned in the agricultural and seafood sectors would grant to New Zealand’s producers an immediate saving roughly amounting to 110 million dollars per year. On the whole, an annual growth of 1.8 billion dollars is expected in the New Zealand economy by 2035.


就新西兰而言,由于欧盟目前为其第四大商业合作伙伴,新自由贸易区为新西兰带来的商业自由化将产生重大的经济影响。尤其是农业和海产品部门计划免除的关税将为新西兰的供应商每年节省大约1.1亿美元。总体上,2035年前,新西兰预计每年经济增长18亿美元。


The scale of the event has a different importance from the perspective of the EU. Even if New Zealand is just ranked 50th among the EU trading partners, the conclusion of the negotiations breathes new life into the EU external commercial policy, and in particular it strengthens the Commission’s Trade for all strategy. After a couple of years of deadlock due to the health emergency of COVID-19 pandemic and, more recently, to the Russian Federation’s aggression of Ukraine, the conclusion of the negotiations with New Zealand will hopefully lead the EU to a new season of commercial relations with third States. In this regard, the next steps will possibly be the conclusion of the negotiations launched in 2018 with Australia and the definition of the Agreement with MERCOSUR, currently agreed only in principle.


对欧盟而言,这一事件规模的重要性不同。即使新西兰在欧盟贸易伙伴中仅排名第50位,完成本次谈判也为欧盟对外商业政策注入了新的活力,特别是它加强了委员会的“全民贸易战略”。近几年新冠肺炎大流行病的卫生紧急情况导致的僵局和最近俄罗斯联邦对乌克兰侵略之后,完成与新西兰的谈判将有望引领欧盟进入与第三国商业关系的新阶段。在商业关系上,接下来的步骤可能是完成与澳大利亚于2018年启动的谈判,以及明确与南方共同市场(MERCOSUR)的协议定义,目前双方仅原则上达成一致的协定。


The results of EU-New Zealand negotiations in terms of sustainable development

欧盟与新西兰就可持续发展的谈判结果


The provisional text of the commercial agreement between EU and New Zealand is now waiting for the final signature. Despite the minor modifications, which the text will still possibly undergo in the current phase, an innovative approach in terms of trade and sustainable development is clearly noticeable and deserves a closer analysis. It is not by chance that the Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, declared that the new FTA “contains the most ambitious sustainability commitments in any trade agreement ever”.


欧盟和新西兰的商业协定临时文本现在正在等待最后的签署。尽管在当前阶段仍有可能有小修改,但在贸易和可持续发展方面的创新做法已经很明显,值得更仔细的分析。欧盟贸易专员瓦尔迪斯·东布罗夫斯基斯(Valdis Dombrovskis)称该新自由贸易协定“包含有史以来任何贸易协定中最雄心勃勃的、有关可持续性的承诺”,并非偶然。


According to Chapter 19 – entitled “Trade and Sustainable Development” (TSD) – the parties commit themselves to protect and promote both labour and environmental interests. In particular, with regard to the first aim, the parties agree to observe core labour standards, to strive to ratify the fundamental ILO Conventions and to abstain from waiving or derogating national labour statutes in order to encourage trade and investments. With regard to the latter aim, the effective implementation of multilateral environmental agreements already ratified is requested, having particular regard to sensitive issues, such as the control of climate change and the protection of biodiversity. Moreover, the parties shall cooperate in the sustainable use of natural resources and in the conservation of forests and marine ecosystems.


根据第19章——题为“贸易与可持续发展”(TSD)——双方承诺他们将保护和促进劳工权益和环境权益。特别对第一个目标前者而言,双方同意遵守核心劳工标准,努力批准国际劳工组织的基本公约,为鼓励贸易和投资不会放弃或减损国家劳工法规。对于后者目标而言,特别是在如控制气候变化和保护生物多样性的敏感问题上,双方要求有效履行已经批准的多边环境协定。此外,双方应当在自然资源的可持续使用以及森林和海洋生态系统的保护方面合作。


While many of these substantive obligations are similar to those already couched in the EU “new generation” FTAs concluded in the last decade, the most remarkable innovation of the EU-New Zealand agreement concerns the enforcement of the TSD chapter. The “new generation” FTAs, in fact, traditionally submit disputes on sustainable development issues to a peculiar collaborative system, which entails the appointment of a panel of experts charged with adopting non-binding recommendations and excludes the use of economic sanctions in case of failure of their observance. The first – and so far only – example of such a proceedings is the case EU v. South Korea on freedom of association, closed in January 2021.


虽然这些实质性义务中有许多与欧盟在过去十年中缔结的“新一代”自由贸易协定中已经表述的义务相似,但欧盟-新西兰协定中最亮眼的创新之处为履行“贸易与可持续发展”一章之内容。实际上,“新一代”自由贸易协定传统的做法是将有关可持续发展问题的争端提交至一个特殊的合作性系统。这一系统需要一个负责通过无法律约束力建议的专家小组,并在责任国不遵守的情况下排除使用经济制裁。这一程序的第一个、也是迄今为止唯一的例子是于2021年1月结案的欧盟诉韩国结社自由案。


Instead, the EU-New Zealand Agreement embraces a fundamentally new approach. Article X.2 of Chapter 26, for the first time, provides a uniform dispute settlement system, which applies also to the violation of sustainable trade obligations. In particular, the party claiming a breach of the FTA may request the establishment of a panel, whose members will be selected from different lists of candidates depending on the matter of the dispute. The panel is expected to deliver an interim report, open to the parties’ comments, and later on a final report which eventually ascertains the FTA’s violation and addresses the responsible party with mandatory recommendations. In the case of a lack of execution of the final report within a reasonable period of time, Article X.16 of the same Chapter authorizes the complaining party to adopt temporary measures, which may consist in a request for compensation or in the suspension of the application of other FTA’s obligations. In both circumstances, the reaction shall be proportionate to the original violation. Breaking with the EU traditional approach, the new FTA extends the application of such temporary measures also to sanction the infringement of major sustainable trade obligations, i.e. the violation of core labour standard and the adoption of any action or omission which defeats the Paris Agreement on climate change. A similar direction in terms of economic sanctions had been previously taken by the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the commercial treaty concluded in 2020 between EU and United Kingdom following the Brexit. In this case, the dispute settlement system applicable to the TDS Chapter maintains a collaborative nature, but Article 410.3, of the Agreement admits the possibility to suspend the observance of commercial obligations when the experts’ final report is not properly observed.


为取代上述方法,《欧盟-新西兰协定》采用了一种全新的方法。第26章第X.2条首次规定了一个统一的争端解决制度,违反可持续贸易义务的情况同样适用这一制度。特别是,声称违反自由贸易协定的一方可以要求成立一个小组,该小组成员将根据争端从不同的候选人名单中挑选。该小组预计将先提交一份允许各方评论的中期报告,随后提交一份最终确定自由贸易协定的违反情况,并向责任承担方提出强制性建议的最终报告。若在合理期限内未履行最终报告的内容,该章第X.16条授权申诉一方采取或包括要求赔偿和暂停履行其他自由贸易协定义务的临时措施。在这两种情况下,反制措施都应与初始违约行为的程度相称。新的自贸协定打破欧盟的传统做法,将这种临时措施的适用范围扩大到制裁违反涉及可持续贸易主要义务的行为,即违反核心劳工标准和采取任何作为或不作为来破坏涉及气候变化的《巴黎协定》。《欧盟-英国贸易与合作协定》作为欧盟和英国在英国脱欧后于2020年缔结的商业条约,在经济制裁方面也有相似的趋势。在这一情况下,适用“贸易与可持续发展”章节的争端解决系统将维持着其合作性,但该协议第410.3条承认,当专家的最终报告未被适当遵守时,可以暂停遵守商业义务。


5

The paradigm shift in the EU approach towards sustainable development

欧盟于可持续发展方法上的范式转变


The outcome of the negotiations between the EU and New Zealand marks a significant paradigm shift in the EU approach to the enforcement of TSD chapters. In this regard, it is noteworthy that the EU Commission embraced the traditional collaborative system in the first draft version of the agreement, elaborated at the time of the launch of negotiations in 2018, but eventually abandoned it in favour of a more effective enforcement mechanism, supported by New Zealand as well. Besides, such a paradigm shift has been openly confirmed by the Commission with the Communication of 22 June 2022, which elaborates six policy priorities for “a green and just economic growth”. Among them the Commission proposes “to further align TSD enforcement with general state-to-state dispute settlement” in combination with “the possibility of trade sanctions as a matter of last resort, in instances of serious violation of core TSD commitments”.


欧盟与新西兰之间的谈判结果标志着欧盟履行“贸易与可持续发展”章节的方法上发生了重大范式转变。在此,值得注意的是,2018年欧盟委员会启动谈判时,协定第一次草稿中接受了传统的合作性系统,但最终放弃了它,进而选择了更有效的履行机制,并且该选择也得到了新西兰的支持。此外,欧盟委员会在其2022年6月22日的公报中公开确认了这种范式转变,并阐述了“绿色和公正的经济增长”的六个政策重点。其中,欧盟委员会议提议“结合国家间争端解决的总体系统,进一步统一履行‘贸易与可持续发展’”,并提出“在严重违反‘贸易与可持续发展’主要承诺的情况下,将贸易制裁作为最后手段的可能性"。


Several circumstances possibly contributed to such a change of perspective. First, the traditional collaborative approach has always been object of strong criticism both at political, academic and civil level. Although the EU v. South Korea proceedings turned out to be successful and South Korea duly and promptly observed the panel of experts’ final report though the ratification of three fundamental ILO Conventions and the reform of national labour law, serious doubts on the effectiveness of the collaborative systems still survived among members of the civil society and have been collected by the Commission through an Open public consultation in 2021.


几种情形可能促成了这一观点的变化。首先,传统的合作性系统在政治、学术和民间层面上都遭到强烈批评。尽管欧盟诉韩国案的诉讼被认为是成功的,而且韩国通过批准三项基本的国际劳工组织公约和改革国家劳动法的方式及时尽责地遵守了专家小组的最终报告。但民间团体的成员对该合作制度的有效性仍然存在严重怀疑,这些意见已经由欧盟委员会于2021年通过开放的的公开磋商程序收集。


Second, the US attitude in terms of enforcement of sustainable trade commitments possibly influenced EU commercial policy. Starting from the Perù Trade Promotion Agreement of 2009, in fact, the ordinary arbitral proceedings apply to all the disputes arising from the violation of labour and environmental obligations enclosed in US commercial agreements. The USMCA, which replaced NAFTA by 1 July 2020, finally confirmed the use of an uniform enforcement mechanism.


第二,美国在履行可持续贸易承诺方面的态度可能影响了欧盟的商业政策。实际上,从2009年的《秘鲁贸易促进协定》开始,所有因违反美国商业协定中包含的劳工和环境义务而产生的争端都适用普通的仲裁程序。直到2020年7月1日,《美墨加协定》取代了《北美自由贸易协定》并最终确认了使用统一履行机制。


Lastly, the change of perspective as for the enforcement of TSD chapters should be read in connection with the wide range of initiatives, which the EU, in the last years, autonomously developed in support of social and environmental interests. Just to mention a few examples, the European Green Deal’s purpose of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 was made a binding goal for EU member States in 2021. At the same time, an interim and ambitious goal of 55% emission reduction by 2030 has been fixed. As for the external dimension, on March 2022 the Council approved the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, which is intended to fight the carbon leakage and prompt third States towards a more effective carbon reduction policy. Finally, a significant innovation in terms of private entities’ obligations will be introduced by a new Directive on corporate social responsibility, currently under discussion.


最后,应该结合欧盟的广泛倡议解读“贸易与可持续发展”章节中履行的变化,在过去几年中,欧盟出于支持社会和环境权益自主制定了这些倡议。仅举几例,2021年,欧洲绿色协议的目的——于2050年前实现气候中性成为对欧盟成员国有约束力的目标。同时,一个雄心勃勃的到2030年减排55%的中期目标也已经确定。至于外部方面,2022年3月,欧盟理事会批准了碳边境调节机制,其目的是打击碳泄漏并促使第三国制定更有效的碳减排政策。最后,一项关于企业社会责任的新指令正在讨论中,其将对私有实体的义务做出重大创新。


Conclusions

结语


Unquestionably, the new enforcement strategy for the TSD chapters brings the EU closer to a successful implementation of the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hopefully, this new path towards a more effective implementation of sustainable development values will be consistently followed by EU also in future negotiations with other major trading partners. The Commission seems at last to be seriously intentioned to go in this direction, if one should judge from the Communication of June 2022 previously mentioned. However, the final result is far from obvious. If New Zealand had demonstrated to share EU sensitivity over sustainable development imperatives, the same cannot be taken for granted as to the other trade partners of the EU. In this regard, it is to expect that some challenges would probably arise within the negotiations with India and Indonesia in the light of their national policies on labour and environmental rights.


毋庸置疑的是,履行“贸易与可持续发展”一章的新策略使欧盟离成功实施联合国17项可持续发展目标更近一步。希望欧盟在未来与其他主要贸易合作伙伴的谈判时,仍然遵循走这条通往有效落实可持续发展观的新道路。如果从前文提到的2022年6月的公报来看,欧盟委员会似乎终于认真打算沿着这个趋势走下去。然而,最终的结果仍然难以知晓。新西兰与欧盟一样对可持续发展的要求有着相同的敏感度,但对于欧盟的其他贸易合作伙伴,这种情况并非理所当然。比如在这点上,由于印度和印度尼西亚在劳工权益和环境权益方面的国家政策,欧盟预计在与其谈判中或许会遇见一些挑战。


原文发表时间:2022年9月28日

原文链接:https://www.ejiltalk.org/eu-new-zealand-fta-towards-a-new-approach-in-the-enforcement-of-trade-and-sustainable-development-obligations/

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