On October 14, the European Commission has put forward its new trade and investment strategy entitled “Trade for All: Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy”. With regard to the importance of global trade for growth and employment in the EU, this new strategy aims at making trade agreements more effective, thereby creating further opportunities and jobs in Europe. Also, the new strategy is designed to respond to the ongoing public debate on European trade agreements and the Juncker Commission's pledge to increasingly account for public’s concerns in its policy decisions. The strategy bases on three core principles:
- Effectiveness: Consumers, workers and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) should be enabled to effectively benefit from more open markets by receiving all relevant information. Also, special SME-regulations should be incorporated in future trade agreements.
- Transparency: In response to the ongoing debates about TTIP, the transparency of trade negotiations should be increased by regularly disclosing details such as negotiation texts.
- Values: Trade agreements should be understood as levers to globally support European values, e.g. with regard to sustainable development, human rights, fair and ethical trade and the fight against corruption. As such, trade agreements should, for instance, include anti-corruption rules or regulations concerning the compliance with core labor standards.
Cecilia Malmström, European Trade Commissioner, summarized the strategy as follows: "Europeans know that trade can deliver jobs, growth and investment for consumers, workers and small companies. 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. So trade policy must become more effective, more transparent and more in tune with our values.”
Source: European Commission