EU Economic Diplomacy Strategy

03-03-2017

The post-World War II order is undergoing profound changes with globalisation and the emergence of new economic powers. The economy has gradually taken over as the main driver of political influence and global now transcend the old national or regional divides. As the EU was emerging as a global economic player, the economic and financial crisis made the need to tap into foreign markets all the greater. The creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS), incorporating the EU delegations, and the new EU competence for direct foreign investment under the Treaty of Lisbon have given the Union the tools to assume an independent identity in economic diplomacy. As a result, the EU’s business-promotion policy evolved into a much more sophisticated economic diplomacy strategy, handled in a more structured manner by the Commission and the EEAS. The European Parliament must now be involved, beyond its legislative and scrutiny roles, in devising this new strategy. Not only could the EP add to the debate but it can also help the Commission and the EEAS with its long-established tradition of parliamentary diplomacy.

The post-World War II order is undergoing profound changes with globalisation and the emergence of new economic powers. The economy has gradually taken over as the main driver of political influence and global now transcend the old national or regional divides. As the EU was emerging as a global economic player, the economic and financial crisis made the need to tap into foreign markets all the greater. The creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS), incorporating the EU delegations, and the new EU competence for direct foreign investment under the Treaty of Lisbon have given the Union the tools to assume an independent identity in economic diplomacy. As a result, the EU’s business-promotion policy evolved into a much more sophisticated economic diplomacy strategy, handled in a more structured manner by the Commission and the EEAS. The European Parliament must now be involved, beyond its legislative and scrutiny roles, in devising this new strategy. Not only could the EP add to the debate but it can also help the Commission and the EEAS with its long-established tradition of parliamentary diplomacy.