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European Union (EU) Trade Policy

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  • Stephen Woolcock
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    Abstract

    The European Union’s (EU) role in international trade has evolved from a defensive position during the 1960s and 1970s, to being a firm supporter of a rule-based multilateral trading system as a member of the Quad (US, EU, Japan and Canada) in the 1980s and to a role in which it aspires to leadership. Shifts in relative market power with the rise of emerging markets has, however, undermined the EU’s ability to shape outcomes. Thanks to a well-developed internal acquis, the EU has developed common policies on all trade and trade-related topics, but the normative power this provides has had little discernable impact on multilateral trade outcomes. The decision-making procedures of the EU have functioned tolerably well up to now thanks to Member States having confidence and trust in the way decisions are made and the way the Commission, as agent, is controlled. The need to integrate the European Parliament (EP) into decision-making procedures following the Lisbon (TFEU) Treaty is, however, likely to result in a period of uncertainty.

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    This chapter was published in: Steven N. Durlauf & Lawrence E. Blume (ed.) , , pages , 2011, 3rd quarter update.

    This item is provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its series The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics with number v:5:year:2011:doi:3863.

    Handle: RePEc:pal:dofeco:v:5:year:2011:doi:3863

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    Keywords: European Community; European Union; GATT; international trade; multilateralism; WTO;

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