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Trade - EU launches a more responsible strategy

Cecilia Malmstrom - Photocredit European Commission

Effectiveness, transparency and values are the three pillars of the new EU trade and investment strategy, entitled Trade for All: Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy

The new strategy, presented by EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom, will benefit differents target:

  • consumers, workers, all EU citizens;
  • small and medium sized enterprises as well as other companies;
  • people in the poorest developing countries as well as in the EU.

It will make EU trade policy more responsible by basing it on three key principles:

Effectiveness. To make sure trade delivers on its promise of new economic opportunities by:

  • addressing the issues that affect today's economy, which involves services and digital trade;
  • providing the means and information necessary to ensure European SMEs, consumers and workers can take full advantage of more open markets;
  • including effective provisions for SMEs in future trade agreements.

Transparency. To open up negotiations to more public scrutiny by publishing key negotiating texts from all negotiations, as has been done in the TTIP negotiations.

Values. To safeguard the European social and regulatory model at home by:

  • using trade agreements and preference programmes as levers to promote, around the world, European values, such as sustainable development, human rights, fair and ethical trade and the fight against corruption;
  • including anti-corruption rules in the EU's trade agreements;
  • seeing that EU trading partners implement provisions on core labour standards, like the rights of workers to organise and the abolition of child labour;
  • broadening efforts to ensure responsible management of supply chains.

Furthermore, the new strategy intends to update programme of trade negotiations that can help shape globalisation to the benefit of UE consumers, citizens and SMEs. In this contexts the priorities are:

  • concluding major ongoing projects like the Doha Round of WTO talks, TTIP, the EU-Japan free trade agreement (FTA) and the EU-China investment agreement;
  • opening the door to new negotiations in the Asia-Pacific region, such as Free Trade Agreements with Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and Indonesia, and planning a deepening of the EU’s relationships with African partners: 
  • modernising existing Free Trade Agreements with Mexico and Chile and the Customs Union with Turkey.

Trade for All: Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy

Horizon 2020 - EU-China co-funding mechanism for research and innovation