The new WTO report, along with a policy statement by the European Commission, will serve as the basis for the trade policy review of the EU which will take place on 24 and 26 July 2002 in the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO.
> Second press release
> Chairperson’s concluding remarks
As key trade liberalization supporter, EU keeps markets open — except for textiles and agriculture back to top
Pursuing trade liberalization through multilateral, regional and bilateral initiatives, the European Union has maintained its markets largely open — except for textiles and agriculture — says a new WTO report on the trade policies on the EU. The EU’s position as the world’s leading exporter of goods and the second largest importer is testimony both to the importance of trade to the European consumer and producer, and to the significance of the EU as a market for most WTO Members, notably developing countries, the report adds.
Since its last trade policy review, the EU has maintained the momentum of its internal economic integration agenda, the report says. It has continued to advance towards the completion of its Internal Market by pursuing product and capital market reform, has undertaken the final step towards a single currency in the euro area, largely maintained control of public finances despite lower economic growth, and has actively enforced competition policy.
The report states that maintaining a supportive policy environment for economic operators has been vital to reviving growth prospects of the European economy in 2002. Economic growth in the EU slowed sharply in 2001 (1.7%), down from 3.3% in 2000, mainly as a result of external shocks (higher oil prices, burst of technology bubble, 11 September, etc.). GDP growth in 2002 is expected to be 1.5%, followed by a rebound to 2.9% in 2003. Inflation rose to 2.3% in 2001, from 2.1% in 2000 (the medium-term target by the European Central Bank is 2%). Unemployment... [continues]
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