The Precautionary Principle in EU Free Trade Agreements

BDI supports the precautionary principle. EU primary law lays down the precautionary principle as the foundation of regulatory measures in EU member states. Furthermore, EU free trade agreements and international trade law safeguard the right to precautionary regulation.

EU primary law binds EU member states to apply the precautionary principle to their regulatory activities. In cases of scientific uncerainty, regulatory bodies in the EU therefore have the right and the obligation to act in a precautionary manner.

Concerns over the effect of free trade agreements on the precautionary principle in the EU are common in the public debates on TTIP and CETA. These concerns are unfounded because the precautionary principle is obligatory under EU primary law and further protected in international trade and free trade agreements.