Sustainable Prosperity for Europe

Industrial Policy Task Force


Advancing a multi-level system of European commercial diplomacy: is there a role for the EU?

18 September 2013
Andrea Frontini (Policy Analyst)



Commercial diplomacy has become a leitmotiv in most EU member states, shaping the political narrative at home and influencing the substance of diplomatic practice overseas. Nonetheless, changing patterns of representation and promotion of European commercial interests abroad, a growing de facto involvement of EU institutions on the ground, and the long-term, transnational integration of European businesses might increasingly call into question the principle of exclusive national competence in such a key policy area.

In this Policy Brief, Andrea Frontini examines the transformations currently affecting European commercial diplomacy and offers some ideas on the way ahead. He argues that the time has come for the EU and its member states to consider framing an effective ‘multi-level’ system of European commercial diplomacy, combining national and EU assets in the service of Europe’s economies and societies.

Advancing a multi-level system of European commercial diplomacy: is there a role for the EU?

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