Responding to New Powers: The EU's Global Trade Strategy Moving Forward

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GR:EEN Policy Brief 36
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The rapid rise of the emerging economies in the global  trading  system  since  the  turn  of  the  21st century  has  generated  significant uncertainty  for  the  European  Union  (EU) Whilst  questionsremain over the EU’s capabilities and influence in other areas of foreign policy , on trade policy and within the global trading system, the EU is undoubtedly a great power. The geopolitical shift which has seen a growing assertiveness, and influence,  of  the  emerging  economies  within both  global markets  and global governance,  has however, had  significant  implications for the  EU as a global actor and trader, and for its approach to global trade policy. Since 1999 the EU has subsequently, and pragmatically , altered its trade strategy, moving away from its previous managed globalisation strategy  (1999 - 2006),  to  Global  Europe  (2006 - 2010),  to the Trade,  Growth  and  World  Affairs (TGWA) s trategy,  launched  in  2010 as  part  of  the  Europe  2020  Strategy  for  Smart,  Su stainable, and Inclusive Growth.

2015 marks the half-way juncture for the Europe 2020 Strategy to which the TGWA s trategy forms a core component. With a new Juncker Commission now in office 2015 further represents a crucial opportunity to re-evaluate the EU’ s global trade policy,  nd reconsider how the EU might pursue its trading interests, and develop its strategic outlook, to best adapt to a changing world. In this paper focus therefore  given  to  the evolution of the EU’s trade strategy, its implications for the EU’s global  trade  policy – with  particular  reference  to  the ongoing TTIP negotiations  with  the  United States and the WTO Doha Round – and with recommendations made for how the EU might adjust its  strategic outlook  for  the  period  2015 - 2020. Specifically it argues that the EU’s new trade strategy should  maintain  the  pragmatic outlook  of  its  predecessors  in  the  pursuit of a deep and ambitious TTIP agreement, but also crucially cast an eye forward to the governance and legitimacy challenges it represents for global trade rule-making and the future of the WTO particularly.   

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