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How effective is the EU's contribution to the enforcement of global labour standards alongside its external policies in the areas of trade, international development and human rights? As an increasingly influential "global actor", the enlarged EU has been at the forefront of attempts to strengthen the social dimension of globalisation as a counterweight to the ascent of economic liberalism and more effective economic governance by the WTO.
In the first part of this new book the author advocates the case for reinforcing global labour law based on implementing ILO standards. This is followed by an analysis of the EU's policies in the area of labour law in the context of its interconnected trade, development and foreign policies, including promotion of human rights. In the final part, the author addresses the complex triangular relationship between the EU, the ILO and the WTO. Utilising case studies, he demonstrates how the EU is becoming increasingly innovative in promoting international labour standards when establishing economic partnerships and granting trade preferences. The EU is often accused of violating WTO principles and promoting its values at the expense of indigenous self-determination. The author argues that these charges can be rebutted but only if the EU develops genuine partnerships with developing countries and effectively articulates both the social case for labour law, to correct unfairness arising from unequal relationships of power and wealth, and the economic case, to raise the quality of products, encourage investment and, in the long-term, offer a competitive advantage.