EU will have stronger powers in trade disputes
On Tuesday, Parliament adopted new rules allowing the EU to use countermeasures in trade disputes when arbitration is blocked.
The strengthening of the so-called enforcement regulation allows the EU to protect its trade interests against partners acting illegally. From now on, the EU can introduce countermeasures when it obtains a favourable ruling from a dispute settlement panel of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) or in bilateral and regional agreements, when the other party fails to cooperate on the adjudication of the dispute.
Scope extended to cover services and intellectual property rights
Parliament succeeded in widening the scope of the regulation from disputes on goods to those involving services and certain intellectual property rights, including European trademarks, designs and geographical indications. MEPs stress that these account for a large and growing share of world trade and are covered by international trade agreements.
Parliament also ensured that the Commission would examine breaches that negatively affect workers or the environment in a trade context with the same attention as breaches of market access. Enforcement measures will apply in this field as soon as trade agreements permit.
Anti-coercion instrument to come
Parliament also insisted on an instrument to allow the EU to deter and counteract other countries trying to force policy choices on the EU. The Commission agreed to present legislation no later than the end of 2021, and member states committed to take up the issue.
Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (Renew, FR), rapporteur
“This regulation makes it clear that international trade is founded on rules that everybody needs to respect. No one is exempt from these rules.
“Europe continues to stand by the multilateral system and WTO rules. Yet the international dispute settlement mechanism is still blocked. The EU now has another credible, efficient and ambitious tool at its disposal to bolster its trade policies and ensure its strategic autonomy. We now expect the Commission to swiftly introduce a measure to counteract and deter coercive attempts by third countries.”
Latest News from
Protecting European consumers: Safety Gate efficiently helps take dangerous COVID-19 products off the market02/03/2021 15:25:00
Today, the European Commission published its annual report on the Safety Gate, which is the EU rapid alert system for dangerous consumer products helping to take dangerous non-food products off the market.
Understanding Covid-19's impact on women (infographics)02/03/2021 13:25:00
Find out how the Covid-19 pandemic has increased gender disparities in the EU in our infographics.
Yemen: €95 million in EU humanitarian aid for people threatened by conflict and famine02/03/2021 11:33:00
The European Commission is allocating €95 million in humanitarian support to address the most pressing needs of people in Yemen amid record highs of child malnutrition, an imminent threat of famine and renewed fighting.
Honouring courage in journalism: Apply for the 2021 Lorenzo Natali Media Prize until 19 April02/03/2021 10:38:00
Applications yesterday opened for one of the world's leading journalism awards – the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize.
New EU energy labels applicable from 1 March 202102/03/2021 09:25:00
To help EU consumers cut their energy bills and carbon footprint, a brand new version of the widely-recognised EU energy label is now applicable in all shops and online retailers as of Monday, 1 March 2021.
Remarks by President Charles Michel at the press conference with President Maia Sandu in Chisinau01/03/2021 16:33:00
Remarks given yesterday by President Charles Michel at the press conference with President Maia Sandu in Chisinau.
The EU and Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement enters into force01/03/2021 15:25:00
The European Union-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) today entered into force.
EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement: Council requests European Parliament's consent01/03/2021 14:33:00
The Council recently (28 February 2021) requested the European Parliament's consent to its decision on the conclusion of the EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement and a security of information agreement.
Von der Leyen at the video conference of the members of the European Council discusses vaccination, security and defence, and Southern Neighbourhood01/03/2021 13:25:00
EU leaders' met via video conference on 25 and 26 February 2021.