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Friday, 11 February 2011

EU members call for more realistic trade policy

France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Poland have formed a common platform to call for improved reciprocity between the EU and its trade partners. On 9 February, Ministers of European Affairs from France, Poland, Germany, Spain and Portugal, together with the Italian Minister for Economic Development made a joint plea for “Europe to be a realist in defending its interests” in its dealings with economic partners. The principle of reciprocity has been hammered home by the French President since his election in 2007. “If we ignore that the world has changed, then we will be guilty of deliberate negligence,” stressed yesterday’s report. Under the initiative of the French, the report has been published in several European newspapers, in particular, Le Monde. According to the report, Europe must be able “to ensure a more effective and strategic defence of its interests” in order to promote its competitiveness in key areas. “The stakes are high: it concerns not only the credibility of Europe’s position on the world stage, but also the preservation and development of the European economic and social model,” the report continues. The ministers demand that the EU “takes the lead in regulating globalization based on shared rules and principles that will ensure fair conditions for all”. According to the ministers, trade relations between the EU and its major partners are not equal and fair. “The EU has opened more than 80% of its markets to outside trade, while the other large trading partners have only open up 20%,” the report claims. “In order to defend its position, Europe should strengthen its negotiating power in order to improve access to outside markets.” The list of priority areas include access to markets for goods and services, investment, the public sector, protection of intellectual property, the supply of natural resources, the liberalization of climate-related trade and government aid.

Source: Euractiv.fr

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