The European Union and Global Engagement

The European Union and Global Engagement

Institutions, Policies and Challenges

Edited by Normann Witzleb, Alfonso Martínez Arranz and Pascaline Winand Winand

Written by a broad range of international experts, The European Union and Global Engagement examines the current state of the European Union and its relationship with the world. The book presents fresh perspectives on the interplay between EU internal developments and its global engagement. While considering the impact and presence of the EU around the world, the collection has a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region. This interdisciplinary book is an essential and accessible resource for students and scholars of European studies, as well as for public servants, business practitioners, researchers and journalists. It will appeal to everyone who seeks to understand the fast-moving policy developments in the EU’s actions on the world stage.

Chapter 8: European Union trade policy after the Lisbon Treaty: the Community method at work

Youri Devuyst

Subjects: politics and public policy, european politics and policy, international relations


Since the early days of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the European Union (EU) has firmly established itself as a major player in international commercial diplomacy. This chapter first reviews the decades-long debate between the EU institutions and Member States on their respective decision-making powers in the field. Second, it analyses the changing roles of EU supranational institutions in formulating trade policy, particularly after the Treaty of Lisbon. Third, the chapter provides a sweeping overview of the EU’s pyramid of trade preferences with third countries. The steady development of bilateral and regional deep and comprehensive free trade agreements is a key characteristic of the EU’s external face, whereby trade agreements also have a significant geopolitical implication.

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