Ambassador Pangratis represented the EU at the meeting of Ministers from the Cairns Group who met in Saskatoon, Canada, from 7 to 9 September. The EU was invited to the Cairns Group, of which it is not a member, as one of several special guests. Ambassador Pangratis used this opportunity to exchange views with members of the Cairns Group on the way forward in the Doha Round.
15/12/11 - 17/12/11 - WTO Ministerial Conference, 15-17 December
The eight Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation took place in Geneva from 15 to 17 December. Ministers from the 153 WTO Members discussed a range of trade topics, including in particular the following three themes that were discussed in Working Sessions: “Importance of the Multilateral Trading System and the WTO”, “Trade and Development” and “Doha Development Agenda”. The Ministerial Conference also took up the accessions of Russia, Samoa and Montenegro.
Ambassador Angelos Pangratis represented the European Union at the G20 Trade Ministers meeting that took place in Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) from 18 to 20 April 2012. In a frank and productive dialogue, G20 Ministers discussed the functioning of global production chains and their impact on international trade, as well as discussing growth and employment. Ministers also agreed on the need to make a strong pledge against protectionism and advance on the WTO negotiations.
09/05/12 - Europe Day, 9 May 2012
At the occasion of Europe Day, the EU Mission to the WTO hosted, together with the EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva a reception for the members of the international diplomatic corps in Geneva, the representatives of the international organizations and members of the Geneva community. The 27 Member States of the European Union joined in the celebrations with gastronomic specialties that reflect both the diversity and quality of food products from across the Union. The reception was also an occasion to highlight in Geneva, as a humanitarian capital, the contribution of the European Humanitarian Office (ECHO), which celebrates this year its 20th Anniversary.
The WTO Public Forum each year provides an opportunity to governments, non-governmental organizations, academics, businesses and students to discuss the latest trends and topics regarding the multilateral trading system. The 2012 Public Forum will analyse whether multilateralism is in a state of crisis, taking into account both the Doha Round deadlock and elements of the WTO work programme that continue to work well.
10/12/12 - Nobel Peace Prize award, 10 December 2012
The Permanent Mission of the EU to the WTO organised together with the EU Permanent Delegation to the UN a live broadcast of the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo. Members of the international diplomatic corps in Geneva and representatives of the international organizations, joined EU Ambassadors Pangratis and Zappia to consider the EU's contribution to peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.
In an op-ed [35 KB] published by Swiss newspaper Le Temps, EU Ambassadors Pangratis and Zappia argue why the EU deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.
As part of a visit to Switzerland, European Parliament President Martin Schulz visits Geneva on 22 March, where he met with key WTO Ambassadors and WTO Deputy-Director General Singh. President Schulz discussed ongoing work in the WTO notably in relation to the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference that will take place in Bali (Indonesia) from 3-6 December 2013. Mr Schulz also met with several heads of UN agencies, before travelling to Lausanne where he addresses the Jean Monnet Foundation.
The World Trade Organisation is organising from 8-10 July its fourth Global Review of Aid for Trade. The aim of this year's forum on trade and development issues is to examine how to use development assistance to connect developing country and least-developed country (LDC) firms to value chains. At a side-event which the EU is organising, examples of EU assistance programmes will be discussed for their contribution to reducing trade costs and fostering better integration into regional and global markets. More details on the Global Review are available on the WTO website.
Geneva, 8 July 2013 - EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht today launched in Geneva a joint initiative for improving conditions for workers in Bangladeshi garment factories. The move is a response to the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka in April which resulted in over 1,100 deaths. The Sustainability Compact seeks to improve labour, health and safety conditions for workers, as well as to encourage responsible behaviour by businesses in the ready-made garment industry in the South Asian country.
13/08/13 - WTO Public Forum "Expanding Trade through Innovation and the Digital Economy”, 1-3 October 2013
From 1-3 October 2013, the WTO organises its annual Public Forum, which gathers a diverse range of stakeholders to discuss the state of the world trading system and the ways to enhance its further. This year’s Public Forum looks at the future of trade in an era of innovation and digitalization. A number of discussions sessions will be organised and EU participants, including EU Ambassador Pangratis, will be taking part in some of these sessions. More information can be found here.
From 3-6 December 2013, Indonesia hosted the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Bali. Gathering Ministers and other delegates from 159 WTO Members, the Conference adopted the so-called "Bali Package" that includes important decisions in agriculture and development as well as a new WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation. The Conference also welcomed Yemen as the 160th Members of the WTO. The Bali package sets the scene for further negotiations in the WTO context.
On 9 May 2014, the EU Mission to the WTO, together with the Permanent Mission of Belgium, the Graduate Institute Geneva and the World Trade Institute are organising a symposium entitled "The future of the Multilateral Trading System: Post-Bali Perspectives". This symposium, which is academic in nature, looks to provide a positive contribution to the important debate that has started in Geneva on the agenda and approach to multilateral trade diplomacy after Bali.
On 10 June, a one day workshop will be held at the World Trade Organization focussing on recipient countries experiences with the implementation of the new WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Gathering developing and developed WTO members, as well as international organisations involved with trade facilitation assistance, the workshop will discuss first-hand experiences from developing countries that have seen development assistance projects in support of the TFA's implementation "on the ground". The workshop will also feature reports from those countries that have conducted WTO Trade Facilitation Needs Assessments or UNCTAD Implementation Plans. Several practical examples and cases will be presented and discussed, among which, an EU financed project on operating a regional transit guarantee scheme that will be presented by a representative from the Common Market for
On 4 June the EU launched a public consultation on trade in environmental green goods and services in view of negotiating an agreement on this field. The EU and 13 other WTO countries have pledged to start negotiations for the liberalisation of global trade in environmental goods – the green goods initiative. The negotiations are scheduled to start in July 2014. The deadline for submitting contributions to the public consultation is 31 July 2014.
05/04/16 - Putting Principles into Practice: Multilateralism and other Values in EU Trade Policy, 02/05/2016
Event organised by The Graduate Institute of Geneva, Centre for Trade and Economic Integration and the European Mission to the WTO on EU Trade Policy. Read the full speech here: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm? . Pictures of the event here: