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Trade: ensuring EU’s strategic autonomy while keeping it open to the world is key

02 Mar · 21h00

EU ministers responsible for trade today held an informal video conference to discuss the European Commission’s communication on the trade policy review, which it presented February last. Under the chairmanship of Portuguese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, Member States welcomed the Commission’s proposal and stressed its importance to support economic recovery and address the consequences of the pandemic.

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Portuguese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, chairs the meeting from Brussels © European Union, 2021

For the Portuguese Presidency, which aims to adopt formal conclusions on a new EU trade policy during this semester, the communication strikes a good balance between the need to improve Europe’s strategic autonomy while keeping it open to the world.

“ A new EU trade policy will also play a key role in the green and digital transformation of our economies, namely by promoting sustainability, thus contributing to a faster and more consistent recovery, with a special focus on SMEs. We count on all Member States to commit to deliver on a balanced approach that ensures the key contribution of trade for growth, jobs and competitiveness. ”

Augusto Santos Silva, Portuguese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

The Union needs a more assertive trade policy, stated the Minister, and make sure that it successfully concludes trade and investment agreements and ratifies those already negotiated.