The European Commission has invited views from the European Parliament and Member States in an attempt to build a consensus around a fresh medium-term direction for EU trade policy.

This will respond to a variety of new global challenges and take into account the lessons learned from the coronavirus crisis, Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan explained.

“The current pandemic is reshaping the world as we know it,” he said, “and our trade policy must adapt to be more effective in pursuing European interests. So today we are asking for the views of our citizens and stakeholders to help us develop a bespoke EU trade policy approach for the post-coronavirus world.”

The Commission argues that a strong European Union needs a strong trade and investment policy to support economic recovery, create quality jobs, protect European companies from unfair practices at home and abroad, and ensure coherence with broader priorities in the areas of sustainability, climate change, the digital economy and security.

The results of its consultation (open until 15 September and available at https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2020/june/tradoc_158779.pdf) will feed into a report to be published towards the end of 2020.

The focus of the consultation is on building a resilient and sustainable EU economy after the coronavirus, reforming the World Trade Organization (WTO), the strengthening of trade and investment relationships with key trading partners and (as the Commission has repeatedly stressed during the UK negotiations) improving the level playing field.

“We must keep trade free and fair, underpinned by appropriate rules both within the EU27 and globally,” Mr Hogan concluded. “With this review, we will listen to everyone who has a stake.”

See https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2020/june/tradoc_158780.pdf for more details.

Last reviewed 26 June 2020