The role of the European Union (EU) in the international trade and investment order

Hosted by the European Institute

COW 1.11, Cowdray House, LSE


Professor Stephen Woolcock

Professor Stephen Woolcock


Dr Robert Basedow

Dr Robert Basedow

An effective EU policy on international trade and investment is important for the EU in terms of ensuring access to future growth markets and promoting sustainable development. But it is equally important for the maintenance of an open rules-based world trade and investment order. At a time of major structural changes in the world trading system the EU’s role is as a key pillar of such an open, rules-based trading system. The EU cannot however, achieve this aim alone and will need to cooperate with like-minded countries that share this broad aim. The EU’s capability to pursue a coherent and effective role in pursuit of these general aims requires the establishment of an effective trade policy regime that integrates all three EU level institutions. It also requires the (re)establishment of a broad political consensus on the scope and aims of EU trade and investment policy, something that can only be achieved with the full engagement of Member State governments and stakeholders in an informed debate.

Bio: Stephen Woolcock is currently an Associate Professor in international relations at the LSE where he teaches international political economy and the political economy of international trade. Before joining the LSE he was Deputy Director for International Affairs with the Confederation of British Industry, and Senior Research Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) where worked transatlantic trade relations as well as European trade policy. Under the auspices of the LSE's International Trade Policy Unit he has coordinated pan-EU research work for the European Parliament and European Commission. He is currently conducting research that assesses the degree to which the major actors in trade policy share a common understanding of what is meant by a rules-based trading today. His recent books include S. Woolcock and N. Bayne (eds), The New Economic Diplomacy: Decision-Making and Negotiation in International Economic Relations (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2016 4th edition) and S. Woolcock, European Union Economic Diplomacy (Ashgate, 2012), K Heydon and S Woolcock (eds) The Ashgate Research Companion to International Trade Policy, 2012.

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