Commission launches reflection on harnessing globalisation

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Series Details IP/17/1230 (10.05.17)
Publication Date 10/05/2017
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On 10 May 2017 the European Commission published its Reflection Paper on Harnessing Globalisation. The paper, which followed the Commission's White Paper on the Future of Europe presented on 1 March 2017, launched a new debate on how the EU and its Member States can shape globalisation in a way that anticipates the future and improves the lives of Europeans.

+ On the external front, the paper focuses on the need to shape a truly sustainable global order, based on shared rules and a common agenda.

The EU has always stood for a strong and effective 'multilateral' global rulebook and should continue to develop it in a way that addresses new challenges and ensures effective enforcement. For example, the EU could push for new rules to create a level-playing field by addressing harmful and unfair behaviour like tax evasion, government subsidies or social dumping. Effective trade defence instruments and a multilateral investment court could also help the EU act decisively against countries or companies that engage in unfair practices

+ On the domestic front, the paper suggests tools to protect and empower citizens through robust social policies and providing the necessary education and training support throughout their lives. Progressive tax policies, investing in innovation and strong welfare policies could all help redistribute wealth more fairly. Meanwhile, use of EU structural funds to assist vulnerable regions and the EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund.

The European Trade Union Confederation welcomed the Reflection Paper saying 'The answer to globalisation is not to close borders – to trade or to people – but to apply rules that prevent a downward race to lower wages, bad employment conditions, social dumping and exploitation, and multinational companies dodging tax and avoiding labour law'.

The Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament welcomed the paper as an encouraging sign that the Commission was willing to make globalisation one of their key priorities for the coming years.

The Greens/EFA Political Group said that the European Commission lacked a vision for fair globalisation. It had not made 'any concrete proposals that would change direction'.

The European Parliament's plenary session held a debate on this reflection paper on 16 May 2017.

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Related Links
ESO: Commission presents White Paper on the future of Europe [European Commission: Press Release IP/17/385, 01.03.17]
European Commission: Publications: Reflection paper on harnessing globalisation
Politico, 10.05.17: Commission issues blueprint for tackling globalization
European Parliament: Press Release, 09.05.17: Future of the EU: harnessing globalisation
EurActiv, 11.05.17: EU facing up to deficits of globalisation
ETUC: Press Release, 10.05.17: Commission Reflection Paper at last aims for fairer globalisation
EPP: Press Release, 10.05.17: Globalisation: an opportunity that must benefit all Europeans
S&D: Press Release, 10.05.17: Focus more on people and less on markets say S&Ds to Commission's globalisation paper
Greens/EFA: Press Release, 10.05.17: European Commission lacks a vision for fair globalisation
European Parliament: Press Release, 16.05.17: MEPs want to protect citizens from negative effects of globalisation
Chatham House: Multimedia: Videos, 27.06.18: John C Whitehead Lecture 2018: In Defence of Globalization

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