The European Unions Trade Agreements
Over the next ten to 15 years, 90% of world demand will be generated outside Europe. That is why it is a key priority for the EU to tap into this growth potential by opening up market opportunities for European businesses abroad. One way of ensuring this is through negotiating agreements with our key partners.

As tariffs are relatively low in world trade today, trade barriers lie behind the customs borders: hence the EU aims to conclude Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTA) that, on top of removing tariffs, also open up markets on services, investment, public procurement and include regulatory issues.

If the EU was to complete all its current free trade talks tomorrow, it could add 2.2% to the EU's GDP or €275 billion. This is equivalent to adding a country as big as Austria or Denmark to the EU economy. In terms of employment, these agreements could generate 2.2 million new jobs or an additional 1% of the EU total workforce.

Trade negotiations in a nutshell
Free Trade Agreements are designed to create opportunities by:
  • Opening new markets for goods and services
  • Increasing investment opportunities
  • Making trade cheaper - by eliminating substantially all customs duties
  • Making trade faster - by facilitating goods' transit through customs and setting common rules on technical and sanitary standards
  • Making the policy environment more predictable - by taking joint commitments on areas that affect trade such as intellectual property rights, competition rules and the framework for public purchasing decisions

The EU has successfully concluded a number of important trade agreements with trading partners and is in the process of negotiating agreements with many more.

Ukraine - 27 June 2014
Norway - 01 July 1973
Iceland - 01 April 1973

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