The EU as a Trade Power

In contrast to other fields of foreign affairs, the EU is a formidable power in trade. In 1957 already, the Treaties of Rome established a common customs tariff and a common commercial policy (CCP). The single market programme of the 1980s, by deeply intertwining the political economies of its member states, allowed the EU to increasingly speak with a single voice in trade. In recent years, however, the CCP has faced a variety of new external and internal challenges. Externally, the unravelling of the WTO’s Doha Development Round rendered the EU’s long-cherished strategy of “multilateralism first” obsolete; the rise of new trade powers put European exporters under immense pressure in global markets; and the trade policy of the Trump administration strained the transatlantic trading relationship. Internally, a broad civil society coalition fervently contested the EU’s preferential trade agreement with Canada (CETA) and nearly derailed the TTIP negotiations with the United States, shedding light on the CCP’s economic discontents and political weaknesses.

Against this backdrop, our class will explore the workings of EU external trade policy, its objectives and the challenges it faces.

This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.