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International Relations, PUBLICATIONS

Review of EU Enforcement Regulation for trade disputes [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Gisela Grieger (2nd edition, updated on 11.1.2021),

© Scott Maxwell / Adobe Stock

On 12 December 2019, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend Regulation (EU) No 654/2014 concerning the exercise of the EU’s rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules (‘the Enforcement Regulation’) of 15 May 2014. The Enforcement Regulation enables the EU to suspend or withdraw concessions or other obligations under international trade agreements in order to respond to breaches by third countries of international trade rules that affect the EU’s commercial interests.

The proposed amendments would enable the EU to impose counter-measures in situations where EU trade partners violate international trade rules and block the dispute settlement procedures included in multilateral, regional and bilateral trade agreements, thus preventing the EU from obtaining final binding rulings in its favour. The latter are required under the current EU regulation to enforce international trade rules.

The Council adopted its negotiating position on 8 April 2020, and the Committee on International Trade (INTA) of the European Parliament adopted its position on 6 July 2020. Trilogue negotiations concluded on 28 October with a provisional agreement, which INTA endorsed on 10 November. Parliament is now set to vote on adopting the agreed text during the January 2021 part-session.


Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 654/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the exercise of the Union’s rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules
Committee responsible: International Trade (INTA) COM(2019) 623
Rapporteur: Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (Renew Europe, France) 12.12.2019
Shadow rapporteurs: Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou (EPP, Greece)
Bernd Lange (S&D, Germany)
Reinhard Bütikofer (Greens/EFA, Germany)
Emmanouil Fragkos (ECR, Greece)
Helmut Scholz (GUE/NGL, Germany)
2019/0273 (COD)

Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)

Next steps expected: First-reading vote in plenary

voted in Plenary


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