Jean-Claude Juncker´s speech: How can the European Commission President’s proposals make a difference on trade?

Jean-Claude Juncker´s speech: How can the European Commission President’s proposals make a difference on trade?

In a State of the Union speech in September, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker proposed changes to how Europe should do business with the rest of the world. At the top of his list was creating a European screening system to make sure that foreign direct investment doesn’t clash with EU strategic interests, and he called for a more open process for trade talks.

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President Juncker’s State of the Union speech also announced new trade talks with Australia and New Zealand. And in a move to make the EU's trade policy the most transparent and inclusive in the world, Mr. Juncker said the Commission decided to set up an Advisory Group on EU trade agreements and to publish any new proposal for negotiating mandates.

The key elements of President Juncker´s trade package include:

• A European framework to screen foreign direct investment.

• Recommendations to the European Council to open negotiations for trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand.

• A recommendation to the Council to open negotiations to establish a multilateral court for to settle investment disputes, responding to heated debate over the issue during Member States’ approval of the CETA agreement.

• Unprecedented transparency in the negotiating process.

• Creation of an Advisory Group on EU trade agreements.

The trade package also includes a progress report on the EU trade policy strategy titled "Trade for All," looking at how it’s working two years on.

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