Stakeholder Preferences and Priorities for the Next WTO Director General
50 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2020
Date Written: July 2020
The WTO is looking for a new Director-General (DG). What does the trade community think is needed? This paper reports on the results of an expert survey undertaken as part of a research project on global trade governance at the European University Institute to solicit views on what WTO members and the international trade community consider the most important attributes of candidates for the position, as well as views on the substantive policy and institutional reform priorities confronting the WTO – and thus the new DG. The results suggest strong support for someone with managerial and political experience, and a professional network that spans international organizations, major capitals, and international business. African respondents assign the highest priority to regional diversity. Resolving the dispute settlement crisis is the highest priority for most respondents; launching discussions on new issues obtains the least support. There is broad agreement on the importance of addressing a range of negotiating topics and institutional reforms, but substantial variation in the rankings assigned by different groups of respondents to specific issues.
Keywords: WTO; governance; international organizations; leadership attributes; stakeholder preferences
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