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The EU and the WTO | Brussels, 26 October 2018

Alliance emerges on WTO Reform at Ottawa Ministerial

The EU welcomes the Ministerial Communiqué on WTO reform adopted at the Ottawa ministerial meeting held on 24 and 25 October.

The EU considers this an important step toward the reform of the WTO. The 13 countries participating in the Ministerial meeting unequivocally endorsed the rules based multilateral trading system and reiterated their commitment to safeguarding and strengthening the WTO. They agreed to work together to strengthen all three functions of the WTO.

First, they agreed to work on solutions to fix the dispute settlement system and resolve the Appellate Body crisis, while preserving its essential features. The EU is preparing a first set of proposals in this regard.

Second, they supported the need to reinvigorate the WTO negotiating function by recognising the need to move forward in various formats and the necessity to address the realities of today's economy and in particular market distortions caused by subsidies. They reiterated their commitment to concluding the fisheries subsidies negotiations by 2019 and welcomed the work being undertaken under the Joint Statement Initiatives, which are tackling such issues as e-commerce.

Third, they recognised the importance of ensuring effective monitoring and transparency in the WTO, and committed to work on concrete solutions, including engaging constructively on proposals to improve compliance with notification obligations, which is the subject of an upcoming submission by the EU, US and Japan.

The outcome of the ministerial meeting broadly supports the proposals made by the EU in its WTO reform concept paper published on 18 September 2018. The EU will continue to take these proposals forward in different configurations and will work closely with this group of like-minded countries.

More information

Joint Communique

EU and WTO