EU Concept Paper on WTO Reform



European Commission for Trade | European Union

Introduction to future EU proposals
The European Council of 28 – 29 June 2018 gave the Commission a mandate to pursue WTO modernisation in pursuit of the objectives of making the WTO more relevant and adaptive to a changing world, and strengthening the WTO’s effectiveness.
The EU remains a staunch supporter of the multilateral trading system and firmly believes that the WTO is indispensable in ensuring free and fair trade. The multilateral system has provided the basis for the rapid growth of economies around the world and for the lifting of hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. It has been the guarantor of trade at times of growing tensions and the backbone of the international system of economic governance. Even at a time of the harshest economic conditions during the great recession, it has helped avert recourse to the trade wars that have fuelled economic decline in the past. As such the health and centrality of the multilateral system
needs to be preserved. Its marginalisation, weakening and decline have to be prevented at all costs.
Unfortunately, the rules-based multilateral trading system is facing its deepest crisis since its inception. For the first time, the basic tenets of the WTO, both in setting the essential rules and structure for international trade and in delivering the most effective and developed dispute settlement mechanism of any multilateral organisation, are threatened…
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