Renew Europe has voted in favour of the anti-coercion instrument that will strengthen our trade toolbox. Initiated by the work of MEP Marie-Pierre Vedrenne on the EU Trade Enforcement Regulation, this instrument will enable the EU to repel blackmail by third countries seeking to interfere with its interests and those of its Member States, as China recently did with Lithuania. Without forgetting the need for dialogue with third countries, this tool is intended to act as a deterrent but also as an effective last resort.
Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (France, MoDem), Renew Europe shadow rapporteur on this file has declared:
"During this legislature, together with the Renew Europe Group, my focus has been on asserting the EU's commercial power and open strategic autonomy. The EU must be able to defend its interests and to fend off blackmail from third countries with a deterrent and effective tool. While maintaining dialogue with our partners remains crucial, we are now equipped to prevent situations akin to Lithuania's experience with China. The European Commission now bears the responsibility of implementing these tools and further advancing our legal arsenal."
Pushed within the EU Trade Enforcement Regulation, the anti-coercion instrument is part of a solid and broader toolbox including other instruments such as the foreign subsidies instrument and the international procurement instrument. The possible countermeasures are listed in the regulation (Annex I) and include measures targeting customs duties, investment, services, procurement, export control goods, intellectual property, chemicals, or financial services from the coercing country.
The European Parliament will exercise democratic control over the application of this instrument.
The EU institutions reached an agreement in trilogue in March 2023, which was finalised in June 2023. Tomorrow's plenary vote is the European Parliament's last before entry into force, which should take place in the next few weeks, following final approval by the Council.