The need to achieve greater opening of
international markets in more areas of economic activity has prompted the EU
since the mid-2000s, specifically from 2006 onwards, to launch a process of
negotiating new bilateral economic agreements. The purpose was not to conclude
agreements that would be limited to regulating the traditional aspects of trade
with its economic partners, but agreements whose scope would include all
economic relations between the contracting parties. The key element of these
new generation agreements is their global content given that, regardless of
their title, their object is to regulate both trade in goods and services and
trade-related areas such as investment status, public procurement, competition
issues, protection of intellectual property rights. Their basic aim is to
liberalize and facilitate trade in goods and services between the parties. The
present study seeks to examine the objectives as well as the fundamental rules
set out in these EU agreements.
JEL classification numbers: K33, F02, F21.
Keywords: European Union, International Agreements, Free Trade.