THE TRADE SUSTAINABILITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT TO SUPPORT THE NEGOTIATIONS OF A PLURILATERAL TRADE IN SERVICES AGREEMENT STUDIES HOW TRADE AND TRADE-RELATED PROVISIONS UNDER NEGOTIATION COULD AFFECT ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN THE EU.
Since the WTO Ministerial in Seattle (1999), Trade Sustainability Impact Assessments (Trade SIA) have become an important tool for the EC to incorporate sustainability – a key concept in the trade policy of the EU – into the policy-making process and particularly into trade liberalization policies, such as Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).
TSIAs are now a standard part of trade negotiations and run in parallel to the actual negotiations.
The objective of a Trade SIA is to assess how the trade and trade-related provisions of the trade agreement under negotiation could affect economic, social, environmental and developmental issues in the EU and in the country or region with which the agreement is being negotiated.
Since the development of the TSIA methodology in 1999, the EU has launched a Trade SIA for all of its major trade negotiations. The impact assessments consist of both quantitative analysis and more qualitative analysis and include extensive stakeholder consultations. Through engagement in several of these Trade SIAs, Ecorys has gained strong experience with both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of these studies and is constantly building on this experience and further developing the network of experts and relevant civil society organizations and other key stakeholders interested in trade and sustainable development issues.
Following the Trade SIA Handbook the project has two basic pillars:
1. Overall analysis of sustainability impacts:
In the overall analysis we will apply a mix of methodologies that allows us to examine the impact of a potential TiSA from multiple perspectives. This builds on the complementarity of tested and state of the art quantitative and qualitative approaches. As such we employ a multipronged approach.
Consultation activities are reciprocal by nature. On the one hand the goal is to inform interested stakeholders and the general public about the progress and findings of the study. On the other hand, stakeholders are invited to provide their inputs to study team.