Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on EU Trade Policy: Our Five Cents to the Debate

Author(s): 
Editor(s): 
Publication Date: 
2020
Pages: 
15
Item Reference: 
PB-20.2
Publication Place: 
Bruges
Publisher: 
UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies
Publication Language: 
EN
Policy Brief Type: 
Abstract: 

The resilience of the neoliberal free trade paradigm in the post-COVID-19 era should not be underestimated, at least in the short term. The EU’s trade policy response has so far been compliant with free trade philosophy and this has not faced serious challenges yet.

Ostensibly protectionist measures are explicitly framed as temporary and exceptional and have been accompanied by liberalising proposals. In the medium and long term, paradigm change may happen. However, the authors warn that such shifts may not be as romantic as envisaged by deglobalisation advocates, because also securitisation looms as a realistic and dangerous alternative.

While both deglobalisation and securitisation involve less trade, their political underpinnings are radically different.

Keywords: 
EU trade policy, globalisation, deglobalisation, COVID-19, neoliberalism