Keywords: European Union; commercial policy; Lisbon Treaty.
This short article provides a first assessment of the new competences
of the European Union after the modifications introduced by the Lisbon
Treaty. The author argues that the impact of new principles and values as well as of the new role of the European Parliament on the external commercial policy should not be underestimated. Notwithstanding the past rhetoric about enforcing social clauses and even human rights clauses in economic agreements, there is a chance for the EU to become a global player capable of taking these rights seriously among trading nations. New legal instruments and new powers have shaped the EU legal system in view of realising aims and values which have become black letter law and will have an impact on the future European Commercial Policy.