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The EU's strategic autonomy in times of politicisation of international trade: The future of commission accountability

  • Trade relations face unprecedented challenges, which has led to an increased politicisation and contestation of trade rules. In response, the EU has changed its trade policy under the motto ‘Open Strategic Autonomy’ towards a more as-sertive policy. The EU seeks to signifi-cantly expand its room of manoeuvre and to gain more autonomy by strengthening the en-forcement of its trade rights and by ensuring more effectively, including unilaterally, a level playing field. This re-orientation engenders several new or amended trade policy instru-ments, but meets with reservations as the renewed politicisation of EU trade policy will have internal consequences and raise demands for more democratic accountability of the Euro-pean Commission. The new policy instruments will enlarge its leeway in trade policy. The future of the EU's multilateral, rule- instead of power-oriented political stance becomes unclear, which might undermine its negotiation posi-tion in WTO reform and collide with the EU's respect for international law. The tensions of the EU's new hybrid approach with its international commitments even more fuel demands for increased accountability of the Commission as a safeguard against employing the new powers for protectionism and disrespect to international law. The contribution analyses the need for increased Commis-sion accountability in the redirected trade policy.

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Author:Wolfgang Weiss
ISSN:1758-5880 (print); 1758-5899 (online)
Parent Title (English):Global Policy. Special Issue: EU Trade Policy - Challenges to its Strategic Autonomy
Place of publication:Oxford
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2023/02/27
Publishing Institution:Deutsche Universität für Verwaltungswissenschaften
Release Date:2023/03/06
First Page:54
Last Page:64
Documents ordered by chairs:Lehrstuhl für Öffentliches Recht, insbesondere Europarecht und Völkerrecht (Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Weiß)
Access Rights:Frei zugänglich
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt