Trade: political agreement on the anti-coercion instrument
The Council and the European Parliament today reached a provisional political agreement on the anti-coercion instrument.
The Swedish presidency, on behalf of the Council of the European Union, agreed on a regulation on the protection of the Union and its member states from economic coercion by third countries (Anti-Coercion Instrument – ACI). This instrument aims to deter third countries from targeting the EU and its member states with economic coercion through measures affecting trade or investment.
The Council will have an important involvement in the decision-making process by determining what constitutes economic coercion. The European Commission will be given implementing powers in decisions on the EU’s response measures, while ensuring increased involvement of member states in these decisions.
Among the measures that could be applied to the third country as a response to economic coercion are the imposition of trade restrictions, for example, in the form of increased customs duties, import or export licences, or restrictions in the field of services or public procurement.
The anti-coercion instrument is designed to de-escalate and induce discontinuation of coercive measures through dialogue. Any countermeasures taken by the EU would be applied only as a last resort.
Once the regulation is officially adopted by both institutions, it will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.
The European Commission proposed this legislation on 8 December 2021 at the request of the Council and the European Parliament.
The European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) adopted amendments to the proposal on 10 October 2022, and the plenary confirmed the Parliament’s negotiating mandate on 19 October 2022 and requested that negotiations begin ‘immediately’.
The Council agreed its negotiating position on 16 November 2022.