EC to boost economic recovery through revised trade policy

The European Commission put forward on 9 November its blueprint for an EU trade policy to help revitalise Europe's economy. The document presented by the Commission proposes a strategy to reduce trade barriers, to open global markets and to get a fair deal for European businesses, addressing issues such as the opening of International public procurement markets to ensuring a fair and inclusive commerce which will contribute to development.

As highlighted by EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht a renewed European trade strategy will open markets and connect Europe to the main sources and regions of global growth. The aim of this policy review is to ensure that European business gets a fair deal and that European rights are respected so that all can enjoy the benefits of trade.

The discussion paper presented by the Commission, entitled “Trade, Growth and World Affairs" sets out a triple benefit which trade can bring to European economy: stronger economic growth, more jobs and increased consumer choice at lower prices. The overall aim of this strategy is to take a more assertive approach to ensure the benefits of trade reach European citizens.

Commission's priorities on commercial policy

  • To complete its ambitious negotiating agenda at the WTO and with major trading partners such as India and Mercosur, in order to increase European GDP by more than 1% per year.
  • To deepen trade relations with other strategic partners, such as the US, China, Russia and Japan, where the main focus will be on tackling non-tariff barriers to trade.
  • To help European businesses access global markets by setting up a mechanism to redress the balance between open markets in the EU and more closed markets with our trading partners. This is the case, for example of European public procurement market and the accessibility for EU firms to other international procurement markets.
  • To start negotiating comprehensive investment provisions with some key trading partners.
  • To make sure trade is fair, and EU rights are properly enforced, translating promise on paper into concrete benefits.
  • To ensure trade remains inclusive so that the benefits go to the many, not the few. The Union will spell out how trade can continue to support development as it sets up a new framework of rules for trade preferences for developing countries.