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New study on the democratic dimension of EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations

OIR is presently conducting a new study which examines the democratic dimension of EU negotiations on free trade agreements, with a particular focus on the role and responsibilities of citizens and Local and Regional Authorities (LRAs). The study, conducted by Bernd Schuh, Helene Gorny and Edith Stifter from OIR and Sanja Brkanovic, in partnership with t33 is commissioned by the Committee of the Regions.
The subject matter is of utmost relevance given the coordination required for mixed agreements to be put in place — in which the EU shares decision-making competence with member states — and the differing sentiments across member states and regions toward various aspects of trade policies. The recent experience of the Belgium region of Wallonia temporarily blocking the conclusion of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), dovetails a clear demand for greater democratic legitimacy in the decision-making process applied to trade negotiations.