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Expert groups

The European Commission has set up groups of experts to provide additional technical expertise in various areas of trade agreements, negotiations, and policy.

These groups are typically made up of European-level, non-government organisations representing their interests for the EU trade negotiating agenda.

It is part of the Commission's focus on transparent and inclusive trade policy-making.

Expert groups explained

Expert group on trade agreements

Between December 2017 and the end of 2019, the European Commission put in place an expert group on EU trade agreements. Its role was to provide extra advice to the Commission during trade negotiations and the implementation of trade agreements. The group’s mandate expired at the end of 2019.

The group included employers' organisations, trade unions, representative associations, socio-economic interest groups (like consumer associations) and other civil society organisations.

Trade Economist Network

The European Trade Economist Network (TEN) is an informal network of trade economists in the governments of EU countries, the Permanent Representations and the European Commission.

These economists discuss the economic impact of current trade policy issues, present their own analyses and papers, and share knowledge. Members meet twice a year in one-day meetings.

Other active expert groups dealing with trade policy

Title Purpose Documents
Generalised Scheme of Preferences Advise the Commission services on practical implementation aspects of the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), which provides trade preferences to developing countries. This includes helping the Commission in the preparation of so-called "delegated acts" to implement the provisions of GSP law Members, meetings, documents
Preparatory meetings of the WTO Committee for Sanitary and Phytosanitary Issues (SPS) Assist the Commission in preparing the EU positions for the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committees . Discuss the relevant agenda items of the WTO SPS Committee . Exchange information, experience and good practices Members, meetings, documents
Responsible sourcing of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold Advise the Commission services on matters pertaining to the responsible sourcing of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold Members, meetings, documents
Screening of FDI into the EU To provide the Commission with advice and expertise on matters relating to foreign direct investments into the EU Members, meetings, documents
Steel Facilitate the co-ordination of measures concerning trade in certain steel products originating in certain third countries Members, meetings, documents
Système Intégré de Gestion de Licences (SIGL) To discuss the technical and practical aspects of the textiles and steel licensing system (SIGL) Members, meetings, documents
Trade and investment relations with China The mission is to provide a forum for an in-depth discussion between the Commission and Member State capital based experts on trade and investment relations with China - the EU's second largest trading partner, first import partner and fastest growing export market. Meetings of the expert group should enable an exchange of expertise and knowledge and a sharing of information, including on planned high level meetings and missions. The discussion and interaction should also help to solidify a common EU position on trade and investment issues with China Members, meetings, documents
Trade and Sustainable Development Exchange of views on Trade and Sustainable Development matters, in bilateral and multilateral context Members, meetings, documents