Strengthening the Relationship between Science and Trade Policy in the European Union

Publication Date: 
20 December 2017
Center for Science Diplomacy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Publication Language: 
Appearing in: 
Science & Diplomacy

The European Union faces evolving environmental, social, health, economic, and political challenges, including attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals to which the EU has committed, such as clean water and climate action. Trade policy is an important tool for addressing these challenges, as well as a field in which the EU enjoys exclusive competence and extensive experience. Because many of these challenges require innovative scientific and technological solutions, this article argues that S&I should receive more attention within EU trade policy, and vice versa. In addition to discussing the current neglect in the EU between S&I and bilateral and multilateral trade policies, this work explores three areas that reveal the importance of the trade-S&I relationship: the definition of technical standards; protection of intellectual property (IP); and support for science-based solutions to global challenges. The article concludes with solutions that support and harness the links between trade and S&I to help the EU leverage its trade power and achieve objectives beyond simple economic advantage.