The European Community Commercial Policy

Patrick A. Messerlin

in The Oxford Handbook of International Commercial Policy

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195378047
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The European Community Commercial Policy

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The European Community (EC) is still a recent and ongoing process. Fifty years is a short time span for such an endeavor. It is strictly an economic process because a straightforward political unification of Europe was out of reach, then, now, and for the decades to come. This ambiguous relation between economics and politics explains why the EC commercial policy often was given the status of a foreign policy instrument. Economic analysis shows that the trade policy of a country reflects domestic conflicts between consumers, import-competing producers, and exporters of the country more than its international relation. This article begins by examining the EC domestic scene—the balance between “the EC and its Member States,” the sacrosanct expression used in the trade treaties signed by the EC. It then describes the level of protection of the EC in the early 2000s, before examining the EC approach to the Doha Round of the WTO during the last decade, and the possible return to trade preferences most recently. A final section concludes.

Keywords: EC; commercial policy; foreign policy; trade policy; protectionism; Doha Round; WTO

Article.  12089 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; International Economics ; Public Economics

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