Due to the openness of the European economy, free and open trade is crucial for the European Union (EU). Trade will remain an important engine of economic growth in the future. In view of the expectation that 90% of global economic growth will be generated outside the EU in the next 10 to 15 years, it is extremely important for Europe that global trade is not restricted. As the EU states in its trade strategy: ‘With most world growth expected to take place outside the EU in the near future, trade and investment will increasingly underpin our prosperity: a prosperous Union hinges on a strong internal market and an open international economic system. We have an interest in fair and open markets, in shaping global economic and environmental rules, and in sustainable access to the global commons through open sea, land, air and space routes’.
This thematic study presents the main indicators, threats and determining factors for international trade and the European economy.