Parliament Magazine’s Brussels Briefing Live Conference

On 29 November 2012, Silvana Koch-Mehrin was invited to speak at the third Parliament Magazine’s Brussels Briefing Live Conference in London.

Together with Syed Kamall MEP and Denis Redonnet (Head of Unit Trade Strategy, DG Trade, European Commission), Silvana Koch-Mehrin was panelist on „EU Free Trade Agreements“.

The EU is currently negotiating over 50 preferential free trade agreements, including with major trading partners such as Canada, India and Japan. When negotiating agreements with 3rd party countries the commission aims to open new markets for EU goods and services, increase investment opportunities and make trade substantially cheaper by eliminating all customs duties.

Some argue that Britain benefits more when negotiating as a trade block which represents the largest single market in the world. However the free trade agreements have been criticised for not providing a good enough deal for Britain and some have suggested the UK would be better off negotiating the agreements separately.

This panel looked at:

  • The pros and cons of negotiating trade agreements at EU level
  • Whether the EU’s free trade agreements are a good deal for Britain, and Europe
  • Case studies of completed free trade agreements, such as the recently concluded EU-Korea FTA