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News article28 March 2023BrusselsDirectorate-General for Trade

Commission welcomes key progress in trialogue on Anti-Coercion Instrument

Early on Tuesday, the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission made a breakthrough on the main outstanding issues of the legislative process of the Anti-Coercion Instrument (ACI). 

This sets down the principles to be translated into the legislation at technical level for approval at a final political trialogue, which will take place at a later date.

This provisional agreement reached at the third trialogue on the key principles includes decision-making arrangements, in particular the Council’s role in determining whether the European Union or a Member State is target of economic coercion. It also covers the list of possible countermeasures, when there is the determination of coercion but the third country maintains its coercive measures.

The co-legislators also found a balance around other significant outstanding elements, such as pursuing reparations for the injury caused by the economic coercion, timeframes for EU action under the instrument, and overall institutional balance.

Next steps

Work will continue at technical level, with the aim of reaching a political conclusion in the final trialogue. Once the text is finalised, the European Parliament and the Council will have to adopt the new Regulation before it can enter into force.


The EU and its Member States have become the target of deliberate economic pressure in recent years. The European Commission proposed in December 2021 a new tool to counter the use of economic coercion by third countries.

The aim is to deter countries from restricting or threatening to restrict trade or investment to bring about a change of policy in the EU. The anti-coercion instrument is designed to de-escalate and induce discontinuation of specific coercive measures through dialogue as a first step. Any countermeasures taken by the EU would be applied only as a last resort when there is no other way to address economic intimidation.

The key areas at stake with the Parliament and the Council going into the trialogue were the question of decision-making and whether to include export controls, intellectual property measures, or chemical and sanitary and phytosanitary legislation in the list of countermeasures.


Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People and Commissioner for Trade, said: “Today the EU is taking a step closer to deterring economic coercion against the EU and its Member States. Progress on the Anti-Coercion Instrument is key to reinforce our trade agenda, giving the EU the tools to preserve open trade and address risks in a targeted way. I am looking forward to sealing the deal at the final trialogue, so we can have this instrument in place as quickly as possible.”


Publication date
28 March 2023
Directorate-General for Trade
Trade topics
Enforcement and protectionTrade defence