Global forums on the unilateralisation of EU Trade Policies: Asserting interests or deserting principles?


The Ghent Institute for International and European Studies is organising a series of four public policy forums together with the 3E Research Centre of the Brussels School of Governance and CCEEL of the University of Eastern Finland. 

The European Union has recently launched multiple new trade policy measures. They are attracting considerable attention both within the EU and amongst the Union’s trading partners and resonate closely with the Union’s new “more assertive and sustainable European trade policy”, introduced early 2021. The initiatives are seen by many as aimed at increasing the Union’s strategic autonomy; defending European values and interests in a world that is increasingly geopolitical. Concerns over secure supplies have only exacerbated as a consequence of the Russian war on Ukraine. The new trade measures however also have the objective of leveraging the EU’s economic power with its trading partners in sectors beyond trade, such as labour standards and environmental sustainability. Are we thus witnessing in the EU a shift away from multilateralism towards more defensive, unilateral policies? Is such a unilateralist shift blending trade with other policies? How are these new measures portrayed by the European Commission and the European External Action Service? What are the reactions from the EU’s trading partners?

Do not miss the general opening session on 29 september, 2022! More information about the debate series can be found here.

The biweekly events will take place online, from 16:00 until 17:30.

We look forward to your participation in the discussions!

Ferdi de Ville, Simon Happersberger & Harri Kalimo