EU and WTO

The EU is the world's largest trading block with 16% of world trade (2010), which makes it one of the main players in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The EU speaks with one voice on trade matters. The European Commission represents the European Union and its 28 Member States in the WTO and negotiates on their behalf.

Through the WTO, the EU seeks to:

  • Reduce obstacles and ensure new markets for European companies for both products and services
  • Observe the rules, and make sure others also play by the rules
  • Negotiate new trade rules (for instance for trade facilitation)
  • Ensure transparency of WTO members' trade policies
  • Promote sustainable development in trade
  • Participate in the process of accession of new WTO Members, to ensure that it is mutually beneficial

World Trade Organisation (WTO)

The WTO is a member-driven organisation that sets the framework for trade between its members. Decisions are mainly taken on a consensus basis. Its core activities are to:

World Trade Organisation (WTO)


  • Location Geneva, Switzerland
  • Established on 1st of January 1995
  • 160 member countries
  • Secretariat staff 640
  • Head: Roberto Azevêdo, Director General