Chapter 8: Conclusion and ratification of trade agreements
This chapter examines the need for the EU Council to maintain more transparency in its key function of holding EU trade policy accountable. The EU Council represents the will of the EU Member States, as opposed to the will of the people, which is represented by the European Parliament (EP). It consists of government ministers from all the EU countries. The Council meets regularly to take detailed decisions and to pass European laws. The Council is the decision-maker. Therefore, it issues ‘directives for negotiation’ to guide the Commission in its work. It is also the Council which ultimately decides whether or not to adopt an agreement. The chapter also analyses the role of the EP in trade policy, the changes proposed by the EU Constitutional Treaty, and the role of national parliaments.
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