The European Commission has announced it is proposing a new trade and investment strategy for the European Union, entitled ‘Trade for All: Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy’. Announcing the deal on Wednesday, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström said the new approach aims to “build on Europe’s excellent trade track record.”
The new strategy will make EU trade policy more responsible by basing it on three key principles:
* Effectiveness: Making sure trade actually delivers on its promise of new economic opportunities.
* Transparency: Opening up negotiations to more public scrutiny by publishing key negotiating texts from all negotiations, as has been done in the TTIP negotiations.
* Values: Safeguarding the European social and regulatory model at home
EU companies export nearly as much as China to the rest of the world and more than firms in the United States or any other country.
More than 30 million jobs already depend on exports outside the EU. 90% of future global growth will happen outside Europe’s borders. A new strategy that will make trade agreements more effective and that will create more opportunities means supporting jobs in Europe.
The new strategy, says the commission, is also a direct response to the current intense debate on trade in the EU – including on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that is being negotiated with the United States.
It is also an implementation of the Juncker Commission’s pledge to listen and respond to European public’s concerns.
Speaking on Wednesday, “We’ve listened to the debate.Europeans know that trade can deliver jobs, growth and investment for consumers, workers and small companies. And they want more of those results.”
The official added, “But they don’t want to compromise on core principles like human rights, sustainable development around the world or high quality regulation and public services at home. And they want to know more about the negotiations we carry out in their name.
By Martin Banks