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Understanding Current Challenges to EU Trade Policy


21 Oct 2013 22:00 to 22 Oct 2013 22:00



Event Type

S - Workshop, course

Organiser type

Federations / Associations


Trade & Society

Event Location


Event Description

Target group
The seminar is targeted at civil servants from the EU Member States and from the partner States of the Union wishing to gain a better understanding of the current trends, challenges and dynamics in common commercial policy. Some places are also reserved for civil society representatives and representatives of sectoral interest groups.

Following the failure of the Doha Round, the EU has gradually shifted from a multilateral approach towards a regional approach to trade policy. It has concluded a number of Free Trade Agreements with third countries, and recently started preparing its biggest trade agreement ever: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States of America. At the same time, the EU is working on a set of far-reaching comprehensive trade deals, the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) with the countries of the EU Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), as well as Free Trade Agreements with a number of other emerging nations.

This new impetus in the EU Common Commercial policy coincides with an important power shift between the EU institutions: since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, the European Parliament has gained a veto right over EU trade agreements, which profoundly affects the way such agreements can be concluded. Former soft issues (human rights, environment, labour standards) have become hard issues that can no longer be neglected in the process of reaching an agreement.

The seminar consists of a mixture of presentations, case studies, discussions and practical exercises facilitated by experienced professionals (including lobbyists) and academics. The theoretical part will be complemented with a real-life practical exercise (simulation game), where participants will gain hands-on experience about the mechanisms, procedures and dynamics of EU trade negotiations in a Council Working Group.

The objectives of the seminar are threefold:
1. to equip the participants with tools to understand the policies and mechanisms behind the Common Commercial Policy;
2. to better understand the stakes behind the new generations of FTAs, in particular the TTIP;
3. to highlight the changes to the CCP that have been introduced by the Lisbon Treaty;
4. to give participants hands-on experience of the mechanisms, procedures and dynamics behind the policy process and to enable participants to practically apply their knowledge in their own professional context.