Much More Than Trade: The common commercial policy in a global context
Title: Much More Than Trade: The common commercial policy in a global context
Author: LARIK, Joris
Citation: Malcolm EVANS and Panos KOUTRAKOS (eds), Beyond the Established Legal Orders: Policy Interconnections between the EU and the rest of the World, Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2011, 13-45
This chapter discusses the European Union’s Trade Policy as one of the main connectors of the Union with the outside world, with the ensuing legal and policy ramifications going well beyond trade stricto sensu. Now that the dust of the EU’s reform process has begun to settle after entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, it is time to take stock of the different ways in which trade serves as such a link. The chapter addresses three main aspects, reflecting the ascending level of ambition the EU shows to influence the outside world. First, the EU’s trade policy as a corollary of its internal market; second, the role of trade policy as a vehicle for various other external policies; third, the role of the EU’s trade policy in ‘constitutionalizing’ the system of global economic governance. In sum, three basic tenets emerge: First, where there is a common market, there needs to be a common trade policy. Second, where there is a common trade policy, foreign policy is right around the corner. Third, the more intertwined international trade and the foreign policy questions become, the greater the need for a (value-based, constitutional) framework balancing the different goals pursued and lending legitimacy to the decision-making process. However, this does not require any lofty ‘constitutional moment’, neither for the EU nor for the WTO, but the maintenance and further development of an effective legal system for international trade.
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