The Treaty of Lisbon will introduce a number of changes to European Union (EU) external trade policy decision making. These involve the scope of exclusive competence of the EU, the role of the European Parliament and the inclusion of trade in the common external action of the EU. This article discusses these changes but also provides an initial assessment of how the Treaty of Lisbon (ToL) might affect the role of the EU as an actor in international trade. After an introduction to the attributes of ‘an actor’ in international trade the article then summarises the main changes the ToL will bring about before discussing their likely ramifications. It argues that the ToL can be expected to strengthen the EU as a trade actor in a number of respects and that these should, to some degree, compensate for the relative decline in EU market power due to systemic changes in the international trading system
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