GLEN HODGSON

NEWS + ANALYSIS

THE OPPORTUNITIES AND BARRIERS TO FREE TRADE IN EUROPE

August 15, 2019 | by Glen Hodgson

As the new European Parliament has been elected—and the new European Commission are set to take their seats in November—it is an ideal time to look at where the free trade opportunities exist in Europe and where more needs to be done. The European Union (EU) represents the largest economy in the world at USD 20 trillion, and its rules and regulations set precedents internationally. In this vein, the European Single Market has been one of the EU’s greatest achievements. Over the past two and a half decades, tariffs and quotas have been reduced between the EU Member States while trade and economic growth have flourished. Since the economic crisis - and in response to an increase in populist forces - however, we have seen a rise in non-tariff barriers, and a reluctance to truly complete the European Single Market through widening and deepening.

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