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News article22 February 2023BrusselsDirectorate-General for Trade1 min read

EU calls for WTO to address current policy challenges through focused deliberation

The EU believes that more substantive deliberation of today’s trade issues at the World Trade Organization (WTO) can help avoid trade tensions by promoting converging approaches to today’s policy challenges. 

Such deliberations can also lay the groundwork for future formal negotiations between WTO Members.

In a paper submitted to the WTO today as part of ongoing work to reform the organisation, the EU proposes three thematic areas for deeper deliberation by WTO Members: state intervention, the environment and inclusiveness.

The EU’s submission will be presented at the WTO General Council on 6 March 2023 and provides a basis for further discussion on the matter ahead of the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference taking place in early 2024.

The EU has identified the following three areas as key for WTO deliberative engagement:

  • Trade policy and state intervention in support of industrial sectors. State interventions, such as subsidies, can be an important part of addressing policy challenges like the climate transition, but can also have impacts on trade and investment.
  • Trade and global environmental challenges. As WTO Members step up their efforts on the climate transition, there is a need to look at how measures are designed and their impact on trade.
  • Trade and inclusiveness. How to share the benefits of trade more widely, how to better link poorer developing countries into global supply chains, and how to better integrate stakeholders in the trade policymaking process are all issues which need discussion.

The EU continues to play a leading role in the WTO’s ongoing reform process, which was launched at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) in June 2022.

A fully functioning WTO dispute settlement system by 2024 remains the EU’s top priority for WTO reform. Our other priority concerns the negotiation function and that the WTO builds on recent multilateral and plurilateral progress and reaches ambitious outcomes in ongoing work.

For more information

EU submission on improving the deliberative function of the WTO

EU and the WTO


Publication date
22 February 2023
Directorate-General for Trade
Trade topics
  • Trade policy