The EU assesses influence of future trade agreements on potential economic, social and environmental issues already at the negotiation stage. According to Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment for the FTA between the EU and Ukraine, “increased production, growth and employment have potentially negative effects on the environment”, “the FTA however, could include provisions for upgrading environmental standards and include the environment as a sustainable factor for long-term development”.
Inclusion of environmental matters in the trade-related provisions of the Association Agreement is positive, however, meaningless without efficient enforcement. The first step in the implementation of these provisions was inclusion of a range of activities in the Action Plan for implementation of Title IV Trade and Trade-Related Matters (Ordinance of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated 18.02.2016).
In addition to the institutional component (advisory group, expert team), the document includes commitments with regard to both environmental (pursuant to relevant regulatory acts) and sustainable development impact assessment. The Plan provides for assessing the impact on sustainable development in December 2018, however, to be preceded by drafting the assessment methodology as such, which requires considerable attention and expert involvement.