chapter  13
13 Pages

Commercial policy

The European union and the world trade and investment order
WithStephen Woolcock

The scope of European Union (EU) competence in trade has been shaped by external drivers. The EU can and should however, develop the means to respond more effectively to aggressive or strategic moves by its trading partners. The EU has of course modified and adapted the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development codes and norms when it has come to implementation, but it is possible to see the influence of the former on the acquis communautaire with regard to trade and investment. The internal challenge is therefore how the EU’s internal decision-making procedures should deal with the inherent tension between credibility in pursuing a clear trade strategy and the demands for greater accountability and legitimacy in EU decision-making. A starting point for this discussion is the change brought about by the Lisbon Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, which has been seen as a ‘quiet revolution’ in the EU common commercial policy.