TRADE: The EU and Norway agree on an interim appeal system in wake of the World Trade Organization Appellate Body blockage

The EU and Norway today notified to the World Trade Organization (WTO) their interim appeal arbitration arrangement. In this way, the EU and Norway secure an effective and binding dispute settlement for any potential trade disputes that might oppose them under the WTO law, in case the existing WTO Appellate Body stops being operational. The EU’s foremost priority remains to ensure an effective functioning of the existing WTO Appellate Body. The interim arrangement has however become necessary as a contingency measure given the long-standing blockage in the appointments of the Appellate Body members. The EU and other WTO countries have made formal proposals and are now discussing ways to resolve the situation. In the meantime, an interim solution that mirrors the existing WTO appeal process can be put in place between interested WTO members. Today’s agreement with Norway is the EU’s second interim appeal arrangement, the first being the one agreed between the EU and Canada on 25 July 2019.