Handbook on the EU and International Trade
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Handbook on the EU and International Trade

Edited by Sangeeta Khorana and María García

The Handbook on the EU and International Trade presents a multidisciplinary overview of the major perspectives, actors and issues in contemporary EU trade relations. Changes in institutional dynamics, Brexit, the politicisation of trade, competing foreign policy agendas, and adaptation to trade patterns of value chains and the digital and knowledge economy are reshaping the European Union's trade policy. The authors tackle how these challenges frame the aims, processes and effectiveness of trade policy making in the context of the EU's trade relations with developed, developing and emerging states in the global economy.
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Chapter 4: The European Commission’s role in trade policy

Lars Nilsson


This chapter presents the objectives and scope of EU trade policy, including how EU trade policy is made, implemented and enforced. As such, it includes a review of how EU trade policy proposals are prepared, how interested parties are consulted and how decisions are taken. The chapter also includes a description of how free trade negotiations are conducted; starting from the process leading up to negotiating directives to the conclusion of negotiations and subsequent signature and ratification. It further explains the EU approach to dispute settlement and how the European Commission monitors and reports on trade barriers and protectionism. Finally, the chapter explains the purpose and content of the various assessments the Commission carries out in terms of the economic, social and environmental impact of significant new EU trade policy proposals. The chapter concludes with suggestions of areas in which future research on the effects of EU free trade agreements could be further strengthened.

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