Publié le 06/10/2023
“Map of EU Trade Agreements”, European Commission, February 1st, 2023

Klemens KOBER

As one of the most successful trading blocs, the European Union (EU) sees itself confronted with the erosion of the global rules-based trading system and trade becoming increasingly weaponized.

The ongoing US-China decoupling and the Russian war in Ukraine recently reinforced the debate about European sovereignty and economic security with wide-ranging consequences for the EU’s economic model and its trade relations with third countries. Recalibrating the degree of the EU’s economic openness involves new approaches regarding multilateralism, bilateral trade agreements and autonomous trade instruments.

This paper looks at how Germany as an internationally highly interconnected country is directly impacted by all these developments and thus tries to both adapt its own position and help shape a new European trade strategy. This will be of high relevance for both the new European Commission and European Parliament after the upcoming European elections in 2024.

Klemens Kober is Director Trade Policy, EU Customs, Transatlantic Relations at the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) as well as EU-representative of the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA). He is based in Brussels and represents DIHK in a number of European and international bodies, including the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Eurochambres) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Previously, he worked at the Directorate-General for Trade of the European Commission. He is also lecturing at the Institut d'études politiques de Strasbourg.

  • The views expressed in this paper are those of the author only.


>> >> See also the publication by Marie Krpata and Ana Helena Palermo: available in French and German (pdf):

FRENCH: "UE-Mercosur : un trilemme insoluble entre règles de la concurrence, ambitions normatives et diversification des approvisionnements [1]".

GERMAN: "EU-Mercosur: Ein unlösbares Trilemma zwischen Wettbewerbsregeln, normativen Ambitionen und der Diversifizierung der Lieferketten [2]".