Thursday 29 September 2011

European Parliament: Caspary and De Gucht debated new trade policy for Europe (EU2020)

You can now read the 27 September 2011 debate about the new trade policy for Europe under the Europe 2020 strategy (item 4), posted by the European Parliament in the original languages of the speakers.

We look at some of the main points made by two of the protagonists, the EP rapporteur Daniel Caspary and the trade commissioner Karel De Gucht.

Daniel Caspary, INTA rapporteur

The report from the EP Committee on International Trade INTA was highly critical of the communication COM(2010) 612. The rapporteur, Daniel Caspary, criticised the Commission for the lack of a rigorous analysis of the profound changes taking place in world trade and for failing to present a medium and long term strategy based on these developments.

The starting point for the EP own-initiative report was the trade policy communication from the Commission:

Trade, Growth and World Affairs: Trade Policy as a core component of the EU's 2020 strategy; Brussels, 9.11.2010 COM(2010) 612 final

Karel De Gucht, trade commissioner

The trade commissioner Karel De Gucht found the criticism unwarranted. In addition to the communication, he referred to the two Commission staff documents, which accompanied the communication:

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT: Report on progress achieved on the Global Europe strategy, 2006-2010; Brussels, 9.11.2010 SEC(2010) 1268 final (23 pages)

An assessment of the Global Europe Strategy adopted by the Commission in 2006, according to De Gucht.

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT: Trade as a driver of prosperity; Brussels, 9.11.2010 SEC(2010) 1269 final (71 pages)

Rigorous economic analysis as well as available long-term forecasts, according to De Gucht.

Commissioner De Gucht reminded listeners that 36 million jobs in the EU depend on our external trade. He argued that the Commission's new trade policy can generate EUR 150 billion every year, and more jobs at the same time.

De Gucht offered a brief overview of ongoing negotiations for free trade agreements (FTAs), multilateralism (WTO Doha, including the Least Developed Countries), access to public procurement markets, trade and investment barriers, access to raw materials and energy supplies and trade defence measures (anti-dumping and anti-subsidy).

Ralf Grahn

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