Following the conclusion of the Uruguay Round, the agenda of the World Trade Organization (WTO) expanded to incorporate a number of environment related issues, such as services, intellectual property rights, and investment related measures. The EU-funded CAT+E project (Concerted Action on Trade and Environment) aims to ensure dialogue and debate between European Research Institutes on these issues. Through a series of international conferences and publications, the CAT+E network analyses the current trade and environment agenda, strengthens co-operation among European Research institutes and identifies needs for further research. Ecologic's CAT+E reports are available for download. The trade and environment policy and research agendas have expanded rapidly in recent years. Following conclusion of the Uruguay Round, the agenda of the World Trade Organization (WTO) expanded to incorporate a number of environment related issues, such as services, intellectual property rights, or investment related measures. This rapid expansion of the trade and environment agenda has created a major area of research that is attracting researchers in virtually all member states.
The EU-funded CAT+E project aims to ensure the debate between European research centers and to draw new participants into the process. The CAT+E network includes participants from almost every member state and also provides for dialogue with policymakers. The concerted action will be structured around a series of substantive questions and will also respond to the dynamics of this evolving research agenda and generate new impulses for research. The major issues to be addressed are: issues arising from existing trade agreements, issues arising from related environmental policies and institutional issues.
The objectives of CAT+E are:
- To foster an in-depth debate on the broad range of issues arising in the trade and environment agenda involving policymakers, other stakeholders and researchers.
- To hold annual members' meetings and conferences for three years to develop and focus research in the trade and environment agenda.
- Promotion of EU research leadership and improvement of research net-working and capacity building between EU countries.
Ecologic is one of the principal actors of the CAT+E network. In this capacity it worked on a number of state-of-the-art reports including topics such as the General Agreement on Services, the relationship between Multilateral Environmental Agreements and WTO rules or Sustainable Impact Assessments.
In addition, Ecologic organized the international conference "Moving forward from Cancún", which took place in the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin in October 2003. During the two-day conference researchers, policy-makers and representatives from civil society analyzed the implications of the Cancún Ministerial for international environmental policymaking and sustainable development.