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A new EPICENTER Discussion Paper by trade experts from Italy, Spain, and Greece outlines the reasons for scepticism towards free trade in the South of the continent and offers solutions to combat protectionist ideas. Both the paper and our upcoming discussion aims to address the challenges of European trade strategy by reviewing the most common critiques on free trade.

What is the voting behaviour of different political groups in the European Parliament and national MPs in Spain, Italy, and Greece when it comes to FTAs? What are the reasons for trade scepticism in certain pollical parties and can they be addressed early on in the process? Can the EU’s trade negotiation process be sped up or are there too many vested interests to balance?

What is the impact of political realignment on the EU’s trade strategy? Is strategic autonomy the correct way to deal with trade scepticism or is it just a buzzword aimed to replace the negative connotation of protectionism?