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Document Abstract
Published: 2015

Trade for all: towards a more responsible trade and investment policy

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The European Commission is proposing a new trade and investment strategy for the European Union: "Trade for All". A new strategy that will make trade agreements more effective and that will create more opportunities means supporting jobs in Europe.

The new approach is also a direct response to the current intense debate on trade in the EU - including on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). It is also an implementation of the Juncker Commission's pledge to listen and respond to EU citizens' concerns.

It will involve trade policy being more effective at delivering new economic opportunities; more transparent in terms of opening up negotiations to more public scrutiny; and address not just interests but also values. The new strategy addresses all these principles. It also lays out an updated programme of negotiations to put them into practice.

Conclusion:

  • trade is not an end in itself. It is a tool to benefit people. The aim of EU trade policy is to make the most of those benefits
  • that means making sure that trade and investment policy is effective. It must tackle real issues based on an up-to-date understanding of the fact that the world economy is tightly linked by global value chains; that services — including those that require providers to move across borders — are increasingly important; and that the digital revolution is transforming the international economy. Trade agreements must tackle the barriers companies face in the modern global economy. They must also be effectively implemented and enforced, including for small- and medium-sized companies
  • trade and investment policy must equally take responsibility for supporting and promoting EU values and standards. The EU must engage with partners to promote human rights, labour rights and environmental, health and consumer protection, support development and play its part in stamping out corruption. Furthermore, key policies for the future of Europe’s integration into the world economy, like investment and regulatory cooperation, must support, not undermine, the EU’s broader objectives of protecting people and the planet. Any change to the level of protection can only be upward
  • essential to meet all of these objectives is a trade policy that remains ambitious in its effort to shape globalisation. Trade benefits people most when creating economic opportunity. That means action to support the multilateral system embodied in the WTO and a targeted strategy for bilateral and regional trade and investment agreements
  • the EU can only reach these goals if it speaks with one voice and ensures that all EU Member States, people and companies are treated equally. It has to be coherent across policy areas. These principles of unity and coherence must underlie the daily work of the Commission as, with the support of the Council and the Parliament, it seeks to implement this communication in the coming years
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