Work packages

The research programme of the EUTIP will be delivered through 6 work packages (WP) three of which are interdisciplinary and thematic and three of which focus on recruitment, administration, implementation and dissemination.

WP1: Governance (Lead: CITY; other participants: UNITO, EUR, U Sp)

EU trade and investment agreements are controversial. Criticism focusses on the issues of democracy, sovereignty, and human rights. The crucial question is whether and to what extent these principles are compromised by trade agreements between the EU and its trade partners. The investigation will focus on three core themes: (a) Democratic legitimacy: the impact of EU trade and investment agreements on democracy, transparency, and human rights in the EU Member States, the EU, and its trading partners; (b) Sovereignty, competence, the rule of law and access to justice, including Investor-State dispute settlement; and (c) EU trade and investment agreements and democratisation and legitimation within (emerging) global governance.

WP2: Regulation (Lead: IFO; other participants: UNI PASSAU, UoB, CIREM, ETH, UNITO, EUR, UoN, U Sp)

EU trade and investment agreeements affect the regulation of many aspects of the economy. This WP will investigate three core themes: (a) Understanding differences in regulatory cultures and integration mechanisms (regulatory coherence & alignment) between the EU and and its trading partners; (b) Non-tariff market access barriers: creation of regulatory coherence and removal of bureaucratic duplication; and (c) Labour standards, environmental protection, SME, competition: The impact of EU trade and investment agreements on particular subject-fields of law and policy.

WP3: Multilateralism and regionalism (Lead: U Sp; other participants: UoN, Egmont, UoB, CITY, UNI PASSAU, IFO)

A crucial question will be how trade agreements between the EU and its trading partners fit with the objective of multilateralism in the EU Treaties as with the obligations arising from WTO membership and other sources of Most Favoured Nations obligations (Bilateral Investment Treaties, etc.). Its interaction with the other existing frameworks of Transatlantic cooperation also requires investigation. The research will focus on a number of core themes: (a) WTO and international trade and investment; (b) Overlapping memberships in free trade agreements (FTAs); (c) Multilateralism and global governance; (d) NATO and Transatlantic security.

WP4: Management of recruitment and training (Lead: UoB; other particip.: EUR, CITY, U Sp)

WP4 oversees the management of recruitment and training in accordance with the proposed structures and strategies. This will be done through (a) Coordination and delivery of recruitment in accordance with selection criteria based on scientific merit and excellence and equal opportunities; (b) Planning, co-ordination and delivery of training events including network conferences, project meetings, and Advanced Training Courses (ATCs); (c) Liaison with POs about and monitoring of all training activities including secondments, visits, and other skills training as required by individual trainees.

WP5: Outreach and dissemination (Lead: Egmont; other participants: all)

The objective of WP5 is to support EUTIP dissemination and outreach activities. This will be done through: (a) Planning and delivery of EUTIP e-infrastructure including web-portal; (b) Planning, support and delivery of public relations and outreach; (c) Monitoring of information flow within the network and beyond, including liaison with outside communities. Beyond the vision of training a uniquely well-equipped cohort of young researchers, our medium- to long-term vision is to create a centre of knowledge and research excellence at the coordinating partner (UoB) to become the focal point of research in this emerging field within a broader research cluster of the Beneficiaries. This will allow us to build on existing strengths, pool resources more effectively and link academic research with its applications in the form of intersectoral collaboration in a more focused way than hitherto possible.

WP6: Ethical issues (Lead: UoN, other participants: CITY, EUR, UoB)

Ethics issues will be discussed twice yearly at project meetings, and as required appropriate ethical approvals will be applied for through beneficiary and partner organisations. Human rights, democracy and working conditions in Europe and the third country trade partners will be considered, and appropriate ethical arrangements will be made if these issues should require consideration. As interviewees are recruited, through beneficiary and partner networks, model letters of consent will be obtained and signed. Each beneficiary and partner involved in interviews will be responsible for ensuring that their data storage and protection complies with their national and European data protection standards.