Dr. Christiane Gerstetter

Rechtsanwältin (Lawyer)

Senior Fellow


Christiane Gerstetter works as a Senior Fellow in the Ecologic Institute's legal team in a part-time position. Her main research interests are international trade policy, environmental law and its enforcement, and transformation processes. Her main regional interest is the Middle East. Christiane Gerstetter works in German and English; she also understands and/or speaks Arabic, French, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish to varying degrees.

On environmental crime and compliance assurance, Christiane Gerstetter currently co-coordinates a project on sanctions to address non-compliance with environmental law. Earlier, she coordinated the EU-funded research project EU Action to Fight Environmental Crime (EFFACE) and is also one of the leading authors of a study on wildlife crime. She also coordinated a project on environmental criminal law in Germany and supported the EU Commission in implementing the Action on Environmental Compliance Assurance and Governance.

On trade, she co-authored a study on strengthening rules on forest protection in the EU-Mercosur trade agreement. Moreover, she co-authored several studies on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), including studies for the European Parliament on the impact of TTIP on European Union environmental and food safety regulation and studies on investor-state dispute settlement and regulatory cooperation in TTIP respectively. Earlier trade-related projects include a legal study of the international legal framework relevant to support systems for renewable energy, policy briefs on trade and climate change, a study on the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol for the European Commission, and a project dealing with the WTO compatibility of environmental labels.

Her development-related work includes studies for the European Parliament on development cooperation and research on climate change adaptation, water conflicts and human security in the Mediterranean area as part of the CLICO project.

Christiane Gerstetter is an experienced and passionate moderator and has facilitated a wide variety of events and formats in German and English for the past 20 years. Among others, she focused on planning and moderating events as part of her work on the Scientific Coordination of Research Projects on a Sustainable Economy (NaWiKo). 

Christiane Gerstetter completed her post-graduate legal training in Berlin, including work at the EU Department of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Embassy in Yemen. Prior to that, she was a researcher at the University of Bremen in a project on the tensions and interdependencies between international and European trade law and social regulation.

Christiane Gerstetter studied law, philosophy and international relations in Heidelberg and Bremen and passed her law school exam in 2003. She completed her PhD thesis on dispute settlement within the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the University of Bremen.

Besides her work for Ecologic Institute, Christiane is also a legal researcher at ClientEarth.

For many years, she has been involved in NGOs and social movements. Since June 2016, she has been a member of the investment committee of Oekoworld, an ethical asset management company. She lived and worked in the Middle East and Central America where she focused on issues of human rights, non-violent conflict transformation and development.

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Selected projects by Dr. Christiane Gerstetter

Environmental Crime and Compliance

| © Europäische Kommission
In January 2018 the European Commission adopted an Action Plan to improve compliance with EU environmental rules. Ecologic Institute and its partners support the European Commission in implementing the Action Plan. In particular, the project assists the European... Read more

Implementation of the European Union's Action Plan on Environmental Compliance Assurance and Governance

| Fotolia © EvilGirl
The illegal pollution of soil, water, and air, the illegal trade in protected species or the illegal shipment of waste abroad – these are different forms of environmental crime. Environmental crime has many negative consequences. Its environmental impacts range from the... Read more
The interdisciplinary research project "European Union Action to Fight Environmental Crime" (EFFACE) assessed the impacts of environmental crime as well as effective and feasible policy options for combatting it, with a focus on the EU. The project was funded under the... Read more

European Union Action to Fight Environmental Crime (EFFACE)



In 2019, the EU and the countries of the South American trade bloc Mercosur concluded negotiations on a trade agreement. The negotiated text of the agreement includes a chapter on trade and sustainability. The rules on forest protection are weak, however, and the... Read more
Ecologic Institute, Bio IS and the Institute for European Environmental Policy were commissioned by the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI Committee) to provide the members with the needed expertise to monitor the ongoing... Read more

ENVI Relevant Legislative Areas of the EU-US TTIP Negotiations

Fotolia © H-J Paulsen
In this project, BIO IS, the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and the Ecologic Institute investigated approaches for verifying that claims made by companies on the environmental properties of products or their own overall environmental performance are... Read more

How to Verify Claims on the Environmental Properties of Products and Organizations?

International Law and Support for Renewable Energies
As renewable energy sources are more widely used and corresponding support systems expanded, the economic significance of the sector is also growing. This, in turn, also leads to a growing potential for trade disputes involving renewable energy production. In this... Read more

Environmental Law

This research project explores whether strengthening the concept of extended product responsibility in international law has the potential of noticeably improving waste management in the Global South. The concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) aims at taking... Read more
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Ecologic Institute prepares a study for the German Environment Agency by the beginning of 2020, identifying legal norms beyond water law that can contribute more strongly to effective implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The study is funded under the... Read more
In 2010, the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing. The Protocol sets forth rules on access to genetic resources. Among other purposes, research is a main driver of demand for... Read more

Study on the Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in the EU


Sustainable Development

| © Yvonne Bogdanski / Fotolia
Sustainable development is a long-term political goal of the European Union (EU), which has become even more important since the adoption of sustainable development goals (SDGs). Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, has been monitoring progress in the... Read more

Monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Europe 2020 Strategy and Policy Initiatives beyond 2020

European Commission, Eurostat (Eurostat), International
Auftaktkonferenz (Foto: Michael Gottschalk/phototek)
In the project "Scientific coordination of research projects on a sustainable economy" (Wissenschaftliche Koordination der Fördermaßnahme Nachhaltiges Wirtschaften, NaWiKo) Ecologic Institute and its partners coordinate 30 research projects, which deal with a more... Read more

Scientific Coordination of Research Projects on a Sustainable Economy

German Aerospace Center, DLR Bonn (DLR), Germany
Climate change poses several threats to human security. Hydro-climatic hazards such as droughts and floods have the potential to trigger or exacerbate social tensions, intra- and inter-state conflict. The EU-funded project CLICO will examine the relationships between... Read more

Climate Change, Hydro-conflicts and Human Security (CLICO)

Intellectual Property Rights and Fighting Poverty - Study for the European Parliament
Developing countries are the main providers of genetic resources and traditional knowledge. Conversely, most intellectual property rights (IPRs) on seeds and medicines are concentrated in developed countries. This has some disadvantages for developing countries. Thus,... Read more
Jüngste Studie: EU Development Cooperation in Fragile States: Challenges and Opportunities
The committees of the European Parliament play a critical role in ensuring the effectiveness of EU policy during both the development of legislation and policy and its subsequent implementation. The Committee on Foreign Affairs (Affaires étrangères, AFET) is one of the... Read more

Framework Contract Development Policy for the European Parliament

Selected publications by Dr. Christiane Gerstetter
This publication is the fourth of Eurostat’s regular reports monitoring progress towards the SDGs in an EU context. The analysis in this publication builds on the EU SDG indicator set, developed in cooperation with a large number of stakeholders. The indicator set... Read more

Bley, Simon Johannes, et al. (ed.) 2020: Sustainable Development in the European Union. Monitoring Report on Progress Towards the SDGs in an EU Context. [eurostat Statistical books 2020 edition]. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

The dispute settlement mechanism of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is one of the most active international courts. How the WTO's adjudicators decide cases is the topic of a book chapter authored by Christiane Gerstetter, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute. The... Read more

Gerstetter, Christiane: Substance and Style - How the WTO Adjudicators Legitimize their Decisions, in: Andreas Follesdal and Geir Ulfstein: The Judicialization of International Law, Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2018

For many populations that are already socially marginalized, resource dependent, and with limited capital assets, human security will be progressively undermined by environmental change. A new book, co-edited by Katriona McGlade, Fellow and Coordinator of International... Read more

Behnassi, Mohamed and Katriona McGlade (eds.) 2017: Environmental Change and Human Security in Africa and the Middle East. Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Publication's cover

© vzbv

In principle, increased trade resulting from trade agreements can offer consumers access to goods and services that are less expensive or of higher quality. At the same time, there is a risk that rules in trade and investment agreements limit the sovereign right of... Read more

Pitschas, Christian and Christiane Gerstetter 2017: Consumer Rights in International Trade Agreements. Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband: Berlin.

According to Chinese authorities, the coronavirus spread to humans from wildlife at a wildlife market in Wuhan. Most likely, Ebola and AIDS also originated from wildlife. Besides the serious threats to biodiversity and sustainable development, the risk for human health... Read more

Sina, Stephan; Gerstetter, Christiane; Porsch, Lucas et al. (2016): Wildlife Crime. Study for the ENVI Committee, Brussels.

This study conducted by Ecologic Institute with support from the Heinrich Boell Foundation aims at providing factual background to the debate on regulatory cooperation within the TTIP. The study looks at whether fears are justified that regulatory cooperation could lead... Read more
Gerstetter, Christiane; Lena Donat; Katharina Klaas and Katherine Weingartner 2014: Regulatory Cooperation under TTIP – a Risk for Democracy and National Regulation?, Berlin.
In this study for the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Christiane Gerstetter and Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf of Ecologic Institute look at the "I" in TTIP, investment rules in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership under negotiation between the US and the EU. They assess... Read more
Gerstetter, Christiane und Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf 2013: Investor-state Dispute Settlement under TTIP - a Risk for Environmental Regulation?, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung: Berlin.
The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) is the most recent piece in the current regime complex on plant genetic resources. In their article for the Journal of World Intellectual Property, Christiane Gerstetter, Benjamin... Read more

Gerstetter, Christiane; Benjamin Görlach; Kirsten Neumann and Dora Schaffrin 2007: "The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture within the Current Legal Regime Complex on Plant Genetic Resources". Journal of World Intellectual Property, Vol. 10, No. 3-4, 259-283.

Selected presentations by Dr. Christiane Gerstetter

Presentations & Discussions

Christiane Gerstetter und Stephan Sina (Ecologic Institut)
On 19 April 2016, Stephan Sina and Christiane Gerstetter, Senior Fellows at Ecologic Institute, presented a study on wildlife crime to the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) of the European Parliament in Brussels. The study was compiled... Read more

Speech:Wildlife Crime

Brussels, Belgium
What do we know about the effectiveness of legislation to combat environmental crime within the EU and its Member States? And how can we measure its effectiveness? These were the two core questions that Christiane Gerstetter, Senior Fellow in Ecologic's Legal Team,... Read more

Speech:The Effectiveness of the EU's Legislative Framework on Environmental Crime

Aix en Provence, France
| © SRU
The German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) presented on 25 February 2016 a statement entitled "Environment and Free Trade: Environmentally sound design of TTIP". Following the presentation of the statement by Prof. Dr. Christian Callies, a member of... Read more

Panel discussion:Statement of the German Advisory Council on the Environment on TTIP

Berlin, Germany
Christiane Gerstetter (Ecologic Institut)
On 10 April 2015, Christiane Gerstetter, Senior Fellow in Ecologic Institute's legal team, gave a presentation on the relationship between international trade and environmental agreements at a conference of the Protestant Academy Hofgeismar. The conference centered on... Read more

Speech:The Relationship between International Environmental and Trade Agreements

Hofgeismar, Germany
Christiane Gerstetter und R. Andreas Kraemer, Ecologic Institut (Photo: © Nicole Roberts, British Embassy Berlin)
On 22 January 2014, more than 100 participants from ministries, NGOs, embassies and research institutions came together in the British Embassy in Berlin. The event focused on how to more successfully prevent wildlife crime, including activities such as the poaching of... Read more

Panel discussion:Combating Wildlife Crime: Efforts and Perspectives from the UK and Germany

Berlin, Germany
The dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is one of the most active and influential international courts. How the WTO dispute settlement bodies decide cases was the topic of a presentation that Christiane Gerstetter, Senior Fellow in Ecologic's... Read more

Speech:Substance and Style – How the WTO Adjudicators Legitimize their Decisions

Oslo, Norway



Photo by Ivan Samkov | Pexels

Training the next generation of environmental lawyers is crucial for ensuring that environmental law is complied with and can thus serve its function of protecting the environment. Christiane Gerstetter, Senior Fellow at the Ecologic Institute, co-moderated an online... Read more

Chairing:Online Course on Environmental Law for Russian and German Students


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