The European Union’s Trade Policy, Five Years After the Lisbon Treaty

03-03-2014

Despite the global economic crisis of 2008 and the spectacular rise of new emerging powers, the European Union (EU) remains one of the world's leading economies. The EU's trade policy has fundamentally changed in recent years. One of the founding and most influential members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the EU has been compelled to acknowledge that the multilateral approach that it had adopted for many years has not yielded genuine progress. In response, the EU launched a new strategy to combine its multilateral approach with renewed efforts to forge bilateral trade deals. The traditionally technocratic approach of the EU’s trade policy was radically changed by the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009; with this treaty, the Commission lost its unilateral control in the domain, while the European Parliament gained an important voice.

Despite the global economic crisis of 2008 and the spectacular rise of new emerging powers, the European Union (EU) remains one of the world's leading economies. The EU's trade policy has fundamentally changed in recent years. One of the founding and most influential members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the EU has been compelled to acknowledge that the multilateral approach that it had adopted for many years has not yielded genuine progress. In response, the EU launched a new strategy to combine its multilateral approach with renewed efforts to forge bilateral trade deals. The traditionally technocratic approach of the EU’s trade policy was radically changed by the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009; with this treaty, the Commission lost its unilateral control in the domain, while the European Parliament gained an important voice.