The Future of EU Trade Policy in Turbulent Times

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


This chapter analyses the implications for trade policy of the five scenarios for the Future of Europe that the European Commission proposed in 2017, responding to the United Kingdom’s decision to depart the European Union (EU) and growing contestation of integration. Given the centrality of trade policy to the single market, the degree of integration and aims of trade policy are unlikely to change irrespective of which of path future EU integration takes. The chapter presents evidence of the resilience of trade policy by looking back over the last decade, when EU trade policy has faced its own challenges: politicisation, greater trade competition with China, and a more protectionist United States trade policy under President Donald Trump. Responses to these challenges - partial transparency, discourse shift to emphasise values in trade policy, reform of Trade Remedies procedures - evidence innovations that have altered some procedural arrangements but have avoided altering the core liberalising aims of trade policy. Future evolution of trade policy will likely continue in this vein. However, as the chapter warns, the potential for waning EU global influence, resulting from Brexit and more assertive Chinese and American administrations, could dilute the EU’s ability to influence global trading rules and achieve its trade policy aims.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Futures
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges and Crossroads for the European Union of 2050
EditorsChad Damro, Elke Heins, Drew Scott
Place of PublicationLondon, U. K.
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781000366303
ISBN (Print)9780367444389
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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