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EU Trade Policy Day 2021

Trade policy and you Online Event, 26 April 2021

On Monday 26 April, the European Commission holds its 2021 Trade Policy Day to discuss its new Trade Strategy to promote an open, sustainable and assertive trade policy for the EU.



About the event

European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis will open the conference with a discussion with WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on global trade challenges and the EU’s role in helping find global responses to them.

This full-day virtual event will include panel discussions on the three core objectives of the new EU Trade Strategy:

  1. Supporting the recovery and fundamental transformation of the EU economy in line with its green and digital objectives;
  2. Shaping global rules for a more sustainable and fairer globalisation, and;
  3. Increasing the EU’s capacity to pursue its interests and enforce its rights, including autonomously where needed.

The event is an opportunity for everyone interested in hearing from a range of officials and experts on the present and future of EU trade policy and of global trade. We will seek answers to a variety of questions, including:

  • How should the EU respond to global challenges including growing unilateralism, the crisis of the international rules-based trading order, the acceleration of climate change, and the digital transformation?
  • How can we reform the WTO so that it can support the stability and predictability of international trade?
  • How can global trade rules contribute to a more sustainable and fairer globalisation, and address in particular the challenges associated with the green transition?
  • How can the EU maximise the benefits of international trade to its companies, and how can the EU enforce its rights more assertively?

Register online

Download the programme


08:50 - 09:00 | 'Digital Doors' open

'Doors' open for participants to join online.


09:00 - 09:15 | Event opening and Welcome

Introduction by Leopoldo Rubinacci, European Commission


09:15 - 10:20 | Global responses to global challenges: The role of the EU and the WTO



  • Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, European Commission 
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization


10:20 - 10:30 | Coffee break



10:30 - 11:30 | Multilateralism as an engine of global recovery

  • Global megatrends
  • Role of multilateralism/global rules
  • WTO reform


  • Marianne Petsinger, Chatham House


  • Bernd Lange, Member of the European Parliament
  • Ignacio Garcia Bercero, European Commission
  • Léa Auffret, BEUC (European Consumer Organisation)
  • Jean Pisani-Ferry, European University Institute (invited)


11:30 - 14:00 | Lunch break



14:00 - 15:00 | Global trade rules for more sustainable and fairer globalisation

  • Towards a global trade and climate initiative
  • Balancing bilateral commitments and autonomous measures



  • Heidi Hautala, Vice-President, European Parliament
  • Rupert Schlegelmilch, European Commission
  • James Thornton, Client Earth
  • Geneviève Pons, Institut Jacques Delors


15:00 - 16:00 | Enforcing rights and values

  • Creating opportunities for EU SMEs
  • Mobilising enforcement capacity 
  • Sustainability enforcement


  •  Elvire Fabry, Institut Jacques Delors


  • Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, Member of the European Parliament
  • Denis Redonnet, European Commission
  • Tanja Buzek, ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation)
  • Markus Beyrer, BusinessEurope (invited)


16:00 - 16:30 | Closing comments

Closing comments & final questions

  • Sabine Weyand, Director-General, DG TRADE, European Commssion


Speaker information published soon.


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