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The EU Policy Convergence Strategy with its Neighbours in the Sphere of Trade

Patricia Garcia-Duran, Joint paper with Montserrat Millet

The objective of this paper is to ascertain whether the EU is seeking policy convergence with its neighbours, within the sphere of trade, using EU's rules. In order to do that, we identify, for every trade related topic, the relationship model that has been established between the EU and four neighbour countries: Morocco, Algeria, Ukraine and Georgia, by means of content analysis of the different available official documents. The findings indicate that Europeanization is the EU strategy in most cases. However, the adaptation to the European rules is only a long term purpose. Whenever there are international rules, the EU usually demands, as a first step, an internationalisation of the rules. When there are not, the convergence process is established on the basis of bilaterally-developed norms. EU strategy varies also depending on the country, being the relationship with Algeria the most particular. We conclude that the EU is presently promoting policy convergence with its neighbours, within the sphere of trade, mainly on the basis of both international and bilaterally-developed rules.

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