From a Siloed Regulation to a Holistic Approach?
Labour and Environmental Sustainability Under EU Law

by Paolo Tomassetti and Alexis Bugada

Drawing on a progressive interpretation of the principle of sustainable development, this article reviews, compares and analyses the channels for interaction and integration between labour and environmental sustainability in two EU normative domains: social policy and environment policy. While a siloed approach is still evident in both domains, with few exceptions, recent EU legislation on the economic pillar of sustainability has promoted horizontal policies on labour and environment. Social and environmental clauses have been enacted in EU financial law and public procurement law. The same goes for corporate law when the proposal for a directive on due diligence of multinational companies is adopted. The analysed examples of horizontal policies to advance labour and environmental sustainability present risks and opportunities. Arguably, the main risk is that such policies end up in accentuating rather than overcoming the competition between labour and the environment as ‘fictitious commodities’.

DOI 10.23815/2421-2156.ITALJ           ISSN 2421-2156

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