International trade plays a central role in the EU’s economy and helps drive its prosperity and that of its partners. But EU’s trade policy is evolving in an increasingly challenging environment both externally and internally. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has added to the growing list of challenges requiring a strong EU trade policy response.
Against this backdrop, the European Commission launched a Trade Policy Review including wide public consultation and stakeholder outreach. This process will help to shape the direction of EU trade policy for the coming years, delivering meaningful responses to challenges such as:
- Supporting a swift and sustainable economic recovery post-Coronavirus
- Enhancing the climate and digital transformations of the EU economy
- Pursuing a model of ‘open strategic autonomy’, to continue reaping the benefits of openness, while protecting Europe from unfair practices
- Updating the multilateral rulebook, including WTO reform
- Strengthening EU resilience to deal with future challenges, including pandemics
- Getting maximum value from the network of EU trade deals
On 16 June 2020, the European Commission launched its Trade Policy Review in an online event hosted by the European University Institute and moderated by Bernard Hoekman, coordinator of the RESPECT project.
The Public Consultation
The Trade Policy Review also included a large public consultation. The full RESPECT contribution to the consultation is available here.