Re-Globe Presentation

The Re-Globe Jean Monnet Module


The European Community and now Union has constantly been one of the major actors in the field of International Economic Law. Born in 1951 to keep peace in Europe though the common management of the most strategic resources for engaging a war, steel and carbon, the process of European integration has also continually widened and deepened economic integration among European countries, conceiving free trade as a strategic tool to bring people together and strengthen their fundamental freedoms and rights. Such political approach and economic model have been characterizing also the international action of the European Union, always pursuing trade liberalization as a key tool to generate prosperity, to be then shared among peoples according to criteria of fairness.

Subsequent to the 1988 EC Heads of Government “Declaration on the Environment”, affirming that “sustainable development must be one of the overriding objectives of all Community policies”, the Maastricht Treaty recalled “sustainable growth”, and primary law considers now “sustainable development” as a core principle of the Union since the Amsterdam Treaty. 

The EU has always taken a most active role at international level for the articulation and strengthening of the principle of sustainable development through new documents and plans. Such an approach has been further reinforced with the enter into force of the Lisbon Treaty, when a highly innovative EU trade policystarted to be shaped considering the objective of sustainable development as an integral part of the common commercial policy. Through the constantly growing involvement of the European Parliament and civil society, the EU has thus developed the new generation of EU Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) (the wide net of ambitious bilateral instruments integrating the EU with its partners all over the world), cutting-edge proposals to reform the system of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and projects for a more effective, predictable, and coherent dispute settlement mechanisms of International Investment Agreements (IIAs), i.e. the presentation of a project for a Multilateral Investment Court (MIC) within the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

The purpose of the Re-Globe Project is to present and analyse International Economic Law in the light of the ground-breaking approach to the governance of the global economy which has traditionally distinguished the development of the EU trade policy, comparing the EU approach with that of the other main international actors. In particular, attention will be constantly devoted to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda, as the European Commission, in its 2021 Communication for “An Open, Sustainable and Assertive Trade Policy”, righty stated that the achievement of SDGs inevitably necessitates the reform of the global economy governance according to sustainability patterns.

The Re-Globe Project will also deal with the many highly sensitive challenges currently characterizing the global economy, which is increasingly becoming a major field of interest of geopolitics: we will consider the supply chains disruption caused by the restrictive national measures adopted to face the Covid 19 emergency, and the unprecedented surge of economic sanctions adopted in reaction to threats and violations of the peace, offering proposals to move again towards a fully rules-based multilateral system of free trade, improved by inclusiveness and transparency with regard to civil society.

Re-Globe activities consist in the Re-Globe Course and Re-Globe Seminars, addressed to the students of the University of Bologna in a fully international setting (the Alma Mater Studiorum has in fact a great number of exchange programmes all over the world, for Erasmus students and with non-EU Universities), interested stakeholders and, more generally, civil society. 

The Re-Globe Project expects to form a ruling class of excellence, aware of the relevance and innovative nature of the EU trade policy, and capable of improving FTAs, IIAs, and the functioning intergovernmental institutions and dispute settlement mechanisms through critical analysis, and sustainable-oriented interpretation. Furthermore, through ad hoc seminars, the Re-Globe Project has the goal of attracting stakeholders and civil society towards the shaping of principles, tools and proposals for reforming International Economic Law, introducing those subjects to the transparency rules and participatory mechanisms characterizing the EU trade policy and the relevant international fora of cooperation in trade and investments. 

The attention to transparency, inclusiveness and participation in shaping, monitoring and enforcing International Economic Law is a distinctive feature of the EU trade policy: in the Re-Globe activities, special consideration will be reserved to these values, also as they are pursued by EU major partners and within international organizations, since they are indispensable to tackle with criticism of legitimacy deficits and achieve widely shared rules for a free and fair global economy.