WTO accessions: any state or customs territory having full autonomy in the conduct of its trade policies may become a member the WTO. However, all WTO members must agree on the terms of such accessions. This is done through a process of negotiations. The EU works closely with acceding countries to ensure their integration to the multilateral trading system. More specifically, the EU ensures that acceding countries comply with WTO rules, which may entail significant changes in their domestic trade regime, from the adoption of economic policies to revision of laws.
Support from the EU budget to provide technical assistance facilitating and supporting the accession process is provided to several least-developing countries that seek to join the WTO. The EU takes requests to negotiate a bilateral market access protocol (for both goods and services) with all acceding countries. The EU market access requests are formulated taking into account both the interests of European exporters and the level of development of the acceding country.Back to Regular work of the WTO