EUTRAP - Framework Research Project "EU Trade Policy" - European Parlament


Scope: Framework service contract to provide external expertise on Foreign Policy: Lot 7 Trade Policy to the European Parliament, notably the Committee on International Trade


Budget: 650.000 EUR (excl. VAT) –


Call text:


Further to providing expertise to the EP on trade policy issues between December 2009 and September 2013, the consortium of the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Universities of Maastricht and Innsbruck (ICER), the Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels), the Centre for Social and Economic Research (Warsaw), the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (Cologne), the Istituto per gli studi di politica internazionale (Milan) and the Overseas Development Institute (London) have been selected to continue advising the Committee on International Trade for the period of 2014-2018.

The consortium of institutions involved builds on a core group of the leading experts in international trade and investment and EU trade policy. This group of individuals, as well as the institutions in which they are based, have worked closely together on previous trade-related research projects including, but by no means only, those under a previous framework contract with the European Parliament. This facilitates an ease of cooperation within the group. In addition to its own experts, each participating institution brings with it a group of affiliated experts that are engaged in work on international trade policy, broadening both the geographical spread of colleague’s operations, as well as expertise. The consortium members are all active in international trade and investment policy networks and therefore work with leading experts outside the EU.


a.       Andreas MAURER, Thomas WALLI, Kief ALBERS, Anna SANTOLIN and Philipp UMEK: Status, Überprüfungsmaßstab und Vergleichsanalyse des Gemeinsamen Auslegungsinstruments und der einseitigen Protokollerklärungen zum Umfassenden Wirtschafts- und Handelsabkommen zwischen Kanada einerseits und der Europäischen Union und ihren Mitgliedstaaten andererseits


Abstract: Gegenstand des Gutachtens ist die Frage nach der rechtlichen und politischen Bedeutung des Gemeinsamen Auslegungsinstruments (GAI) und der Protokollerklärungen, die der Rat der EU (i.F. Rat), die Kommission oder einzelne Mitgliedstaaten der EU anläßlich der Unterzeichnung des zwischen der EU und Kanada geschlossenen Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (i.F. CETA) abgegeben haben.

b.      Andreas MAURER: Comparing EU and EFTA Trade Agreements: Drivers, Actors, Benefits, and Costs


Abstract : EFTA states have built up a network of 26 preferential trade agreements (PTAs) with 37 partners, compared to more than 120 trade agreements concluded by the EU with more than 45 partners. There are substantial differences between EU and EFTA PTAs in terms of scope and ambition. EFTA agreements still focus on traditional areas of market access, while the post-1990 EU agreements are more elaborate, values-driven, political and comprehensive. As a bloc, the EU has more leverage when it negotiates around the world. The size of its market and its highly developed common policies mean that the EU can bring more to the negotiating table and has stronger tools to enforce its economic interests and political conditions compared to the smaller EFTA states whose political and economic cooperation is limited. Although the EFTA states do not form a customs union like the EU, they usually negotiate PTAs as a group, bringing their combined economic and political weight to bear. However, they retain the right to reach bilateral trade agreements with third countries outside the EFTA framework, such as Switzerland's PTAs with Japan and China, and Iceland's bilateral PTA with China. EFTA's small size nonetheless has some benefits. Since EFTA states are not so constrained by — often diverging — interests they can be more flexible in their negotiations. In some cases EFTA has concluded trade deals relatively quickly compared to the EU, but this has been at the expense of relatively shallow trade agreements.

c.       Christopher HARTWELL, Jan TERESIŃSKI, Bartosz RADZIKOWSKI and Karolina BEAUMONT: Comparison of the EU Service Offers for the TTIP and TiSA Negotiations

Abstract: A comparison of the services offers which the European Union has made for the negotiations on the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) shows that, in general, both treaties follow similar approaches and points of difference are minor; both TiSA and TTIP apply a positive listing approach in regards to market access and negative listing in regards to national treatment, and the rules governing market access and national treatment do not differ between the two agreements. The most significant differences in sector-specific provisions are featured in the transport sector and educational services, while the highest harmonisation of provisions is in the energy sector and communications. Overall, the service provisions in TiSA and TTIP are very similar, although it seems that the level of trade liberalization is higher is TiSA.

d.      Stephen WOOLCOCK, Taylor ST JOHN and Elitsa GARNIZOVA: The Implications of International Economic and Financial Governance Agenda for EU Trade and Investment Policy


Abstract: Many of the rules, norms, principles and practices that are central to EU trade and investment policy today have been influenced by a wide range of different types of international organisations (IOs). This influence occurs through formal rulemaking, voluntary codes of conduct or standards, the provision of technical and scientific expertise or the dissemination of research and best practice. The influence is pervasive and decisions taken years ago in IOs can shape EU trade policy today. With the difficulties facing multilateral approaches to rulemaking in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) the impact of other IOs has increased.

e.      Samuel R. SCHUBERT, Elina BRUTSCHIN and  Johannes POLLAK:  Trade in Commodities, Obstacles to Trade and Illegal Trade


Abstract: Free trade in raw materials is of great importance for the EU. China remains the EU’s main supplier of critical raw materials and thus concentrates on the most recent evidence on its export restrictions. Despite recent WTO rulings, China is still implementing a wide range of trade distorting measures in the form of export licensing or through the introduction of a resource tax. While we can trace certain welfare benefits for the Chinese domestic market following the introduction of export restrictions, we can clearly relate increasing illegal trade outflow from China to its restrictive trade policies. While the use of the WTO provides one of the most straightforward mediums to offset trade distortions, more effective measures include the addition of explicit clauses on critical raw materials in bilateral trade agreements and a strong regulatory framework in the member states prohibiting imports of conflict or illegal raw materials.

f.        Christopher HARTWELL: Cross-Cutting Effects of the EU´s Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) on Developing Economies


Abstract: The world has seen rapid growth of preferential trade and investment agreements (PTAs) that, by definition, aim to go beyond the existing WTO obligations of the parties. With this growth comes the danger of incompatible obligations as these PTAs overlap within a country. This study examines the sources of overlap in various PTAs and the compliance costs that PTAs may create for a developing country, with a special focus on the agricultural realm. Examining the reality of divergent SPS standards, we conclude that better-targeted “Aid for Trade” and regulatory streamlining within the EU can help to mitigate compliance costs in developing countries. Additionally, involvement of the private sector at an earlier stage in PTA negotiations may also help to clarify compliance costs and build their mitigation into the agreements.

g.       Andreas MAURER: Comparative Study on Access to Documents (and Confidentiality Rules) in International Trade Negotiations


Abstract: It is extremely difficult to strengthen parliamentary oversight of the EU’s trade policies without clear and predictable rules and procedures for the EP to access relevant information from the Commission and the Council. This study provides an overview on the rules guaranteeing access to information in international trade negotiations both in the EU and in selected third countries. It evaluates the existing arrangements on access to information by Parliament in view of the provisions included in the Treaty of Lisbon, international norms and agreements, EU case-law, and similar rules, arrangements and practices in a group of national parliaments.