The EU’s free trade agreement with New Zealand fails to establish a critical concept of sustainability On July 9, 2023, the European Union and Aotearoa New Zealand concluded a comprehensive free trade agreement, which the European Commission describes as the most ambitious agreement ever with regard to sustainability issues. A closer look reveals that the scope of regulation is more comprehensive and progressive in many respects than in other agreements. Nevertheless, deficits can be identified in the design of the dispute settlement procedure, which are also due to the fact that the sustainability chapter is unable to establish a critical concept of sustainability that is sensitive to its contradictions. Findings from Contradiction Studies can help to fill this gap. Contradictions are associated with the concept of sustainability as it is used in the agreement. Only its recognition makes it possible to negotiate these contradictions at a legal level. To this end, the dispute settlement procedure must be made more effective with the involvement of civil society actors.

Find the full contribution here.


Verfassungsblog: On Matters Constitutional. Fachinformationsdienst für internationale und interdisziplinäre Rechtsforschung.

DOI: 10.17176/20230810-224225-0

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prison of difference

“‘Contradiction is the prison of difference‘ writes the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Worlds of Contradiction asks: how can we explain and describe the world without making it more coherent and systematic than it is?”

Michi Knecht
space

“According to Niklas Luhmann, space is a ‘special facility to negate contradictions’”.

Julia Lossau
city

“The city is a laboratory not only of modernity, but also of contradiction.”

Julia Lossau
interstice

“The contradiction of law in Derrida lies in the interstice that separates the impossibility of deconstructing justice from the possibility of deconstructing law.”

Andreas Fischer-Lescano
driver

“Contradictions are an important driver of scientific practice and knowledge.”

Norman Sieroka