European trade policy: necessary policy changes that require genuine implementation
Following the publication of the trade policy review on Thursday 18 February, Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis appeared before the members of the Committee on International Trade at the European Parliament to discuss these new guidelines. The French MEP and Vice-Chairwoman of the International Trade Committee Marie-Pierre Vedrenne reacted to these proposals which take into account economic trends and the increasing strengthening of unilateralism.
"In a context where the balance of power is becoming more and more important, I can only welcome the orientations of the European Commission which are inspired by French positions on the implementation of the concept of "strategic autonomy". The defence of our economic interests and the desire to green trade policy are very strong expectations, and the Commission is rightly taking up these issues."
She continued, "The European Union is asserting itself, and wants to show more firmness in terms of trade policy, which is crucial for our credibility." For Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, it is obvious that protection is not protectionism. Through this strategy, the European Commission is drawing up objectives and actions that have therefore been noticed by the MEPs.
"The European Commission is sending us a coherent and proactive message. Many announcements are good news, but we know that the road ahead will be long and winding."
Marie-Pierre Vedrenne underlines that she has strong regrets and expectations. "The big missing element is the reform of the chapters on sustainable development." Thus, she reminded Denis Redonnet, the Chief Trade Enforcement Officer, that "the revision of the 15 points will have to be up to the stakes, up to the expectations. It is crucial to ensure that our sustainable development chapters are concretely implemented and more binding."