December 20, 2021


The European Commission has recently presented a new tool, created to counter the use of economic coercion by third countries, as a response to the economic pressure to which EU companies have been subjected in recent years, in order to better defend themselves on the global stage.

The Commission’s proposal is a natural follow-up to the requests of the European Parliament and some Member States and was preceded, on 2 February last, by a joint declaration with the Council and the European Parliament, aimed at identifying tools to deter and contrast the coercive actions of the third countries. This was followed by an in-depth public consultation at Community level, including an impact assessment, in which interested parties, in particular businesses, trade associations and working groups, confirmed the problem of economic intimidation and coercion against the interests of the EU and supported the need for a dissuasive tool at EU level. Which provides, as a first step, to preserve economic freedom and EU sovereignty, the interruption of specific coercive measures through dialogue; any countermeasures would be applied by the EU only as a last resort, when there is no other way to deal with economic intimidation (explicit economic bans, boycotts of goods and/or countries, food safety checks, etc.). The proposal will now have to be discussed and approved by Parliament and the European Council.

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