Republic of Cyprus
Trade Service

Trade Policy and Bilateral Relations


RESPONSIBILITIES - THE EU COMMON COMMERCIAL POLICY


The Treaty of Rome established a customs union, according to which there would be no barriers to trade among member states and common tariffs would be applied to imports from third countries.

The growth of international trade has gradually developed the Common Commercial Policy (CCP) into a particularly important policy of the European Union. Moreover, the enlargements of the EU and of the common market have strengthened the influence of the Union in the trade negotiations, both in bilateral and multilateral contexts in the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The Union has consequently created a strong network of trade relations worldwide.

Today, the European Union represents roughly a fifth of world’s trade. However, the Union’s ability to play a fundamental role in the various trade negotiations depends mainly on the effectiveness of the Common Commercial Policy, rather than its trade volume.


THE LEGAL BASE

The Union’s influence in the international trade scene derives from its ability to negotiate with one single voice.

Article 207 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU ) gives the European Commission the exclusive power to legislate conclude international trade agreements. Nonetheless, the Commission must be authorised by the Council to negotiate a trade agreement with a trading partner.

The scope of the Common Commercial Policy, as defined in article 207 of the TFEU, covers not just trade in goods, but also trade in services, foreign direct investments, as well as the commercial aspects of intellectual property.

Trade negotiations also include issues of shared competence (between the EU and its Member States), such as trade in cultural and audiovisual services, social, education and health services, for which unanimity in the Council is required.


For more information, you may also view the following videos of the European Commission:

Βίντεο - Η Κοινή Εμπορική Πολιτική Βίντεο - Πολιτική Πρόσβασης στην Αγορά της ΕΕ



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