Making policies work


Contributing Document

Perspectives on the Soft Power of EU Trade Policy


San Bilal and Bernard Hoekman, contribution to external publication, July 2019

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In today’s rapidly evolving and uncertain trade context, the EU has to reposition itself, adapting its trade and external policies to better pursue its economic interests, but also to achieve its political, geostrategic, developmental, environmental, and principles-based objectives. This column introduces a new eBook that brings together perspectives on such questions as whether the EU has been effective in its pursuit of non-trade policy objectives relating to standards, values, sustainability and development, and if so, whether this has been at the expense of more traditional trade policy objectives.

EU trade agreements aim at reducing foreign market access barriers, but also condition the terms of preferential access to the Single Market on regulation in partner countries in areas such as social and labour standards. Is this an effective strategy? Does it come at the cost of attaining economic objectives? This eBook brings together different perspectives on these and other questions.

ECDPM’s San Bilal, Head of Programme Trade, Investment and Finance and Bernard Hoekman, Professor and Director of Global Economics, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies are co-editors of this eBook.

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