The EU is exclusively compet for the Common Trade and Investment Policy (CTIP). In implementation of this policy, it participates in multilateral trade negotiations within the World Trade Organization, and it negotiates bilateral and regional free trade agreements with countries not member of the EU.
The Flemish Region is competent for its commercial and export policy and it therefore consequently supports its enterprises in their international activities. Multilateral and bilateral free trade agreements ensure a structural and sustainable opening of markets, and thus increase the opportunities for our enterprises across the world. That is why the Flemish authorities strongly invest in a close monitoring of the Common Trade Policy, in which the specific interests of the Flemish economy are invariably defended. The strategy of the Government of Flanders with regard to the Common Trade and Investment Policy of the European Union has been defined in the Note to the Government of Flanders of 25 November 2016.
Prior to the intra-federal consultation meetings, the Flemish position is coordinated inside the European Trade and Investment Protection Working Group of the Government of Flanders . In this Working Group all the administrations and Ministers' Offices of the Government of Flanders are represented.
In cooperation with the EU Member States and the business community, specific trade barriers are dealt with through the Market Access Partnership. Enterprises can also report trade barriers by reporting them to the Contact Point for Trade Barriers – a unique instrument of the Government of Flanders – which is available at the website of the Flanders Investment & Trade Agency (FIT). In cooperation with the European Commission, FIT and the Department of Foreign Affairs attempt to eliminate trade barriers, for instance, but not only, by raising the problem at the Market Access Advisory Committee, which meets on a monthly basis and where the European Commission, the EU Member States and the business world are present.
European Trade policy