It is our pleasure to invite you to our online discussion and we cordially request your participation.

This event continues our online event series: EU Strategic Toolbox Talks. In this series, we focus on existing and upcoming EU instruments aimed at managing critical dependencies and strengthening the EU’s sovereignty and external economic governance. These instruments form an important basis for fostering the EU’s capability to act in a global environment increasingly shaped by geopolitical tensions and systemic rivalries.

Please be made aware that this session will be held under Chatham House Rule.

EU Strategic Toolbox Talk (online):

The EU Chief Trade Enforcement Officer: Charting the Course of Global Trade Dynamics

Wednesday, July 3, 2024, 5:00 – 6:00 pm CET/11:00 – 12:00 pm EST


Denis Redonnet, EU Chief Trade Enforcement Officer, European Commission

Dr. Simon Evenett, Professor of International Trade and Economic Development, University of St. Gallen

Freya Lemcke, Managing Director, DIHK Brussels

Dr. Cora Jungbluth, Senior Expert, China and Asia-Pacific, Bertelsmann Stiftung


Etienne Höra, Project Manager, Bertelsmann Stiftung

The pursuit of fair and open global trade is increasingly undermined by rising geopolitical tensions, unilateralist protectionism, state interventions, and the weakening of international bodies. For the European Union institutions, Member States, sectors, and individual companies, the need for capable negotiators and effective instruments to address these challenges cannot be overstated.

The EU Chief Trade Enforcement Officer (CTEO), a position created in 2020, plays a critical role in the strategic direction of EU trade implementation and enforcement. Whether clarifying disagreements with third countries, representing stakeholder interests, enforcing sustainable development commitments, or combating unfair trade practices through the EU’s new arsenal of trade instruments, the CTEO is a central figure in Brussels’ trade policy landscape.

The consequences of recent European Parliament elections, the formation of a new Commission, pivotal upcoming elections in the United States, and the increasing U.S.-China rivalry underscore the importance of the CTEO in ensuring European trade interests are pursued and defended. Against this backdrop, the discussion will address the following questions:

  • What are the priorities of the CTEO? Where has the mission been successful and where is there room for improvement? Now that the elections in Europe have passed, what can we anticipate from the CTEO’s office through the end of the current Commission? Will there be a change in the priorities or even adaptations to the scope and scale of the office over the next five years?
  • How does the weakening of international institutions like the WTO in favor of unilateralist, protectionist measures impact the CTEO’s work?
  • How are European companies reacting to changing global trade dynamics? To what extent is there dialogue between the CTEO and the private sector?
  • What do data trends on the global market, for example those included in the Global Trade Alert, tell us about the evolving state of trade dynamics? What does this mean for the EU and how does this data inform the efforts of the CTEO?

During the event there will be an opportunity to pose questions to the panelists via the Zoom Q&A function. Please note that this discussion will be held under Chatham House Rule.

To attend the event, please follow this LINK for your ZOOM registration. If you would like to receive more information about the work of the Bertelsmann Stiftung and its events, please register HERE.

We are looking forward to your participation!