Making EU Trade Agreements Work: The Role of Rules of Origin

CEPS Working Paper 183

26 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2002

See all articles by Paul Brenton

Paul Brenton

World Bank

Miriam Manchin

University College London; Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2002


A key element of the EU's free trade and preferential trade agreements is the extent to which they deliver improved market access and so contribute to the EUs foreign policy objectives towards developing countries and neighbouring countries in Europe, including the countries of the Balkans. Previous preferential trade schemes have been ineffective in delivering improved access to the EU market. The main reason for this is probably the very restrictive rules of origin that the EU imposes, coupled with the costs of proving consistency with these rules. If the EU wants the "Everything but Arms" agreement and free trade agreements with countries in the Balkans to generate substantial improvements in access to the EU market for products from these countries then it will have to reconsider the current rules of origin and implement less restrictive rules backed upon by a careful safeguards policy.

Keywords: free trade agreements, trade preferences, rules of origin, developing countries, Balkan countries, outward processing

JEL Classification: F13, F15

Suggested Citation

Brenton, Paul and Manchin, Miriam, Making EU Trade Agreements Work: The Role of Rules of Origin (March 2002). CEPS Working Paper 183. Available at SSRN: or

Paul Brenton (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Miriam Manchin

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano ( email )

Via Conservatorio 7
Milan, 20122

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics