Strengthening the European Union's defensive tools in trade disputes.
On Tuesday 19 January 2021, the European Parliament adopted by a very large majority (653 in favour, 10 against and 30 abstentions) Marie-Pierre Vedrenne's report on the application and enforcement of trade rules. This is a first step in the establishment of a more credible, more effective and more ambitious European Union.
The European Union is gaining the capacity to respond more quickly to defend its own interests. The European Parliament has adopted a regulation concerning the exercise of the Union’s rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules, under the leadership of the French MEP Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (MoDem).
After 6 July 2020 and the position of the European Parliament and 28 October 2020 with the trilogue agreement, it was in a commercial context synonymous with a balance of power that the proposals put forward by Marie-Pierre Vedrenne were adopted in plenary session.
While the deadlock in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) persists and international trade will certainly and unfortunately not be the priority of the new US administration, this new instrument comes at an opportune moment. It allows the European Union to expand its toolbox with effective counter-measures towards our trading partners.
The EU will finally be able to take countermeasures in the area of services and certain intellectual property rights, a growing part of our trade. Before this text’s revision, the EU could just react in the field of goods and public procurement.
Now, the EU has the tools to be credible in the international trade scene.
Marie-Pierre Vedrenne said: “With this regulation, we send a clear message to our partners: international trade is based on rules that everybody must respect. There is no exception.
Europe continues to stand by the multilateral system and the WTO rules, but the blockage of the international dispute settlement mechanism is a reality. With this report, we show that we are fully determined to reinforce our legal instruments and that Europe will have an additional credible, efficient, and ambitious tool at its disposal to empower its trade policies and ensure its strategic autonomy. It is a first step, and we are now expecting a lot from the upcoming instrument to counteract and deter coercive measures taken by third countries.”
The Vice-Chairperson of the Committee on International Trade concludes that: "Now we must stay the course and keep up the momentum. I have high expectations regarding the European Commission's proposal for a new instrument by the end of the year to combat coercive measures by third countries. "The report also contains a number of recommendations on the environmental aspect: "With this report, I have made it a point of honour to defend international trade that is regulated, fair and sustainable. The sustainable development provisions in our agreements must also be respected and better applied. »