Economic Relations, Connectivity & Innovation


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14/06/2020 - The coronavirus crisis is creating a more competitive global environment, with confrontation growing faster than cooperation. As EU, we face rougher seas and risk getting caught in the cross-currents of major powers telling us to “pick a side”.

29/05/2020 - If there is one thing that 27 EU member states agree on it is that we all believe in rules-based multilateralism. We repeat, almost mantra like, that we want a strong UN as the beating heart of the multilateral system. The Security Council is the world’s highest multilateral authority and it has the last word on matters of peace and security. I was very pleased to address the Security Council on the EU-UN cooperation (see here) and to express the EU’s strong support for the UN’s work, with concrete contributions in many areas and especially on peace and security.

On 1 May 2020, Liechtenstein marked the 25th anniversary of its accession to the European Economic Area (EEA), which unites the EU Member States and the three EEA European Free Trade Association States of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, in an Internal Market governed by the same basic rules.

The EU is taking steps to protect key features of the multilateral trading system.
The Council today gave the go-ahead to the multi-party interim appeal arbitration arrangement (MPIA), a new system that will allow the EU, together with other participating WTO members, to overcome the current paralysis of the WTO’s Appellate Body and solve trade disputes amongst themselves.

The EU is making available almost all the remaining money from this year's budget to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Council today adopted a decision on the conclusion of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and Vietnam. This decision clears the path, on the EU side, for the entry into force of the agreement. Once the Vietnamese National Assembly also ratifies the FTA, the agreement can enter into force, most likely in early summer 2020.

The EU is taking swift action to make available money to help tackle the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The EU and 15 other members of the WTO today decided on an arrangement that will allow them to bring appeals and solve trade disputes among them despite the current paralysis of the WTO Appellate Body.