Legal Ambiguities withstanding TTIP (NETWORK)

Scientific manager: Lucia Serena Rossi
Legal Ambiguities withstanding TTIP logo







Sector: Jean Monnet Network

Unibo structure involved: Department of Legal Studies –International Research Centre on European Law

Unibo Team: Federico Casolari, Giacomo di Federico

Project Duration in months: 36
Start Date:
End Date:

Budget: 299.000 euro
Unibo Budget: 128.455,64 euro

Coordinator:  Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna (IT)
Partners:  Université de Rennes 1 (FR); Kings College London (UK)

Based on a consortium of 3 renowned European university centres, where leading EU-law scholars work together with talented academics in their early stages of career, the Network ‘LAwTTIP – Legal Ambiguities withstanding TTIP’ intends to promote a large-scale legal reflection of both the ongoing negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its possible implications for the EU legal order.

The debate on the TTIP has gained momentum in the European and national legal and political discourse. Nonetheless, a large-scale systematic analysis of its impact on the EU legal order is still missing. This sounds surprising: on the one hand, some major legal ambiguities withstanding the TTIP have emerged during the 12 rounds of talks, which may represent a potential threat to the EU legal order as a whole. They thus require the elaboration of legal and policy tools for overcoming the alleged shortcomings before the conclusion of the agreement and its approval by the EU and its MSs. On the other hand, it is apparent that the negotiations—and their final result—are destined to completely reshape the EU external action, and the way in which such action will be reflected into the EU legal order. In sum, the TTIP can be understood as a new ‘model’ for the EU global presence. It follows that its main features and implications for the EU integration process and constitutional identity, as well as for other multilateral international fora, deserve a thorough legal analysis.

The analysis of both the TTIP model and its overall impact on EU law have not only become a high priority for the EU legal research, but also needs the promotion of synergies between research and teaching to elaborate innovative approaches and best practices in teaching the TTIP as a key topic in EU legal studies. Also, the analysis urges the establishment of a mutual dialogue with general public, allowing thus all those who are interested to better their awareness on the topic.

In light of the most recent development at international level, i.e. Brexit and the new Trump Administration, which have opened new scenarios and challenges for the EU international trade agreements, the partners’ coordinators have agreed that an updating and broadening of the scope of the Network, as initially conceived, would be advisable, in order to offer a more accurate and clear analysis of the dynamics of change in the area of EU international trade agreement. More precisely, on the one hand, the LAwTTIP Network has to take into account the prospective U-turn in the US approach vis-à-vis the trade relations with the Union and, more generally, the world trade. After considering the solutions proposed in the TTIP talks, and their possible impact over EU law, the reflection exercise carried out by the Network should therefore analyse the legal problems and obstacles so far emerged within a larger framework, to: a) assess whether the TTIP model (possibly amended) still represents a viable point of reference to shape the EU-US trade relations or a brand new instrument is required; b) identify possible further avenues, also in the light of the practice emerging from other bilateral trade treaties concluded/negotiated by the Union (e.g.: CETA), to consolidate the role played by the Union in global trade. On the other hand, the Network will investigate how Brexit will influence the future contractual relations among US and the Union. Also the reshaping of the status of the UK in the trade-related agreements so far concluded by the Union with third countries and other international organizations will be taken into consideration. 

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union