Examining the impact of free trade rules, this survey aims to help clarify the legal boundaries that exist on product regulation between national law, European Union (EU) law, World Trade Organization (WTO) law, and international environmental law. Public authorities make a consistent effort to regulate trade, acting within the policy space that remains openboth at the national and supranational levelwhile maintaining environmental protection and sustainable development. In exploring this process, this study brings to light the conflict of interests between free trade rules and product-oriented environmental measures. While environmental law increasingly relies on product regulations as an important policy instrument, supranational economic lawas laid down within the framework of the EU and the WTOtends to view such regulations as trade barriers, which are to be removed as far as possible. This apparent contradiction between environmental protection and trade liberalization is analyzed closely, revealing why it has been the subject of much political and academic debate.
About the Author
Marc Pallemaerts is a senior fellow and head of the governance team at the Institute for European Environmental Policy (London and Brussels). He also teaches international and environmental law at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and was formerly a senior research fellow at the Institute for European Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He is the author of Toxics and Transnational Law.