2012, 21-22 June, joint EUI-CLEER Conference 'Trade liberalisation and standardisation: new directions in the 'low-politics' of EU foreign policy'?
Globalization’s profound impact on EU trade relations has resulted in a patchwork of preferential trade arrangements and a continued drive towards the harmonisation of laws, so as to secure market access and create regulatory convergence and interoperability. To boost global competitiveness of European industries, regulatory convergence as a policy objective has been revived in EU-led trade talks by aiming for increased harmonisation of standards and/or mutual recognition.
Against this background, the one-and-a-half day conference co-organized by the European University Institute (EUI) and the Centre for the Law of EU External Relations (CLEER), brought together leading academics and practitioners to explore whether and to what extent trade liberalisation and harmonisation can be regarded as successful ‘low-politics’ areas in EU foreign policy and what the challenges are that the EU is and will be facing in these areas.
The discussion focused on (i) the legal and policy objectives that the EU applies in its preferential trade arrangements, with particular attention to interregional approaches, the linking of trade to development and conciliation with multilateral efforts in market liberalisation; (ii) the role of and applied practices in the Union’s efforts to promote standardisation within the WTO and with regard some particularly important trade partners, such as the US and China; and (iii) challenges and EU strategies for reconciliatory efforts in investment policy within the context of trade.
Keynote speaker: Robert Sturdy MEP (INTA Committee, European Parliament)
Confirmed speakers: (Prof Frank Hoffmeister, Deputy Head of Cabinet De Gucht, DG Trade), David Kleimann (EUI), Dr Gracia Marin Duran (University of Edinburgh), Dr Tamara Perisin, (University of Zagreb), Prof Marise Cremona (EUI), Dr Tamara Takács (T.M.C. Asser Instituut/CLEER), Dr Andrea Wechsler (EUI), Prof Steven Woolcock (LSE and ECIPE), Sergey Ripinsky (UNCTAD), Dr Angelos Dimopoulos (Tilburg University).