Proposal for a Regulation on the protection of the Union and its Member States from economic coercion by third countries

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2021) 775
Publication Date 08/12/2021
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Legislative initiative tabled by the European Commission on 8 December 2021, establishing an Anti-Coercion Instrument aimed at countering the use of economic coercion by third countries against Member States of the European Union (EU).

Further information:

Economic coercion refers to a situation where a third country is seeking to pressure the EU or a Member State into making a particular policy choice by applying, or threatening to apply, measures affecting trade or investment against the EU or a Member State. There has been an increasing and significant use of economic coercion by third countries, and the EU has lacked a legislative framework for acting against it.

This draft law aims to remedy that legislative gap. The need for such a framework was highlighted in the Letter of Intent submitting by the President of the European Commission in September 2020. The Commission's 2021 Work Programme identified this initiative as a key one. Moreover, a Joint Declaration issued by the main EU institutions in February 2021 recognised that actions by third countries that seek to coerce the EU or a Member State to take or withdraw particular policy measures were of concern.

The proposed Regulation was tabled by the European Commission on 8 December 2021, alongside an accompanying Communication providing its context. The plenary of the European Parliament endorsed a negotiating position on 19 October 2022. The Council of the European Union adopted its general approach on 16 November.

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Commentary and Analysis
New Statesman: Comments, 18/11/2021: Economic arm-twisting is on the rise. Europe must learn how to resist it
Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW): Briefing, December 2021: European Commission proposes a new anti-coercion Regulation to counter economic coercion by third countries
Euronews, 08/12/2021: Brussels is vowing to fight back against economic coercion. But how far will it go?
CEPS: Policy Insights, 16/12/2021: Lithuania, China and EU lawfare to counter economic coercion
ECFR: Events, 17/12/2021: Europe’s answer to economic warfare: The EU’s anti-coercion instrument and building sovereignty in a networked world
European Journal of International Law: EJIL Talk! Blog, 19/01/2022: The EU’s Anti-Coercion Instrument: A Big Stick for Big targets
German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP): Policy Brief No 7, March 2022: Designing a Geo-Economic Policy for Europe
Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS): Critical Questions, 21/04/2022: What Are the Trade Contours of the European Union’s Anti-coercion Instrument?
EPRS: Briefing, May 2022: EU response to economic coercion by third countries - Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment
Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Research: Regulatory Alert, 19/08/2022: EU Law Proposal on Anti-coercive Economic and Trade Measures Faces Obstacles on Path to Adoption
Renew Europe EP Group: Newsroom, 10/10/2022: Renew Europe leads the strengthening of EU trade policy with the establishment of a strong anti-coercion instrument
Van Bael & Bellis (VBB): Insights & News, 12/10/2022: The EU Anti-coercion Instrument Proposal: Update on the Position of the European Parliament and the Council
EPRS: Briefing, November 2022: Proposed anti-coercion instrument

Politico, 06/12/2021: EU flexes geopolitical muscle with new trade weapon
Reuters, 08/12/2021: EU seeks to deter economic coercion with new trade defence
EurActiv, 08/12/2021: With geopolitics in mind, EU Commission presents new tool to deter trade wars
EUObserver, 09/12/2021: EU plans new trade defence tool to deter economic coercion
Deutsche Welle, 10/12/2021: EU devises new measures against 'economic coercion'
LRT News, 07/01/2022: France wants quick EU response to China’s coercion against Lithuania – media
Politico, 20/10/2022: EU countries seek to claw back power from Brussels on upcoming trade bazooka
EurActiv, 16/11/2022: EU member states clip Commission wings in anti-coercion tool discussions

EUR-LEX: SWD(2021)371: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Impact Assessment Report
EUR-LEX: SWD(2021)372: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment Report
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Proposal on Economic coercion by third countries (2021/0406(COD))
European Parliament: Legislative Train Schedule: Instrument to deter and counteract coercive actions by third countries
European Commission: Press Release, 08/12/2021: EU strengthens protection against economic coercion
European Commission: Questions and Answers: Commission proposal for an Anti-Coercion Instrument (8 December 2021)
European Parliament: Press Release, 08/12/2021: Deterrent to defend EU interests: Trade Committee Chair on anti-coercion instrument
S&D EP Group: Newsroom, 08/12/2021: S&Ds welcome EU’s new instrument to counter political weaponisation of trade
European Parliament: Press Release, 10/10/2022: MEPs back new trade instrument to protect the EU from economic blackmail
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 16/11/2022: Trade: Council agrees negotiating position on economic anti-coercion rules

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