The Evolution of the EU External Trade Policy in Services - CETA, TTIP and TiSA after Brexit

Journal of International Economic Law, 2017, Forthcoming

37 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2017 Last revised: 15 Aug 2017

See all articles by Panos Delimatsis

Panos Delimatsis

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Tilburg Law School

Date Written: July 3, 2017


The conclusion of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) constitutes a priority and key component of the external trade policy of the European Union (EU). It is also an immediate follow-up to several years of regulatory cooperation between the two global trade powers. In an era of megaregionals, services is the only area where significant negotiating traction exists at the bilateral and multilateral level. However, recent events such as the imminent Brexit and the withdrawal of the US from the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) cast doubt on the future of trade deals. Even so, services remain a key sector of export interest for the EU and thus completing agreements such as the TTIP or the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) is of crucial importance, allowing the EU to create new opportunities for service suppliers but also to reshape the regulatory philosophy governing the future regulation of global trade in services. With respect to TTIP, the EU Commission, backed by the EU executive, has advanced an ambitious agenda and submitted a conditional offer to the US, hoping for further liberalization on the two sides of the Atlantic. Against this backdrop, this article offers a critical account of the EU external trade policy, focusing on the EU’s recent external action with respect to services liberalization. The article advances three theses: first, that such ambitious agreements mark a new era of offensive services strategy which however is contained by internal conflicts and disagreements regarding certain still sensitive silos such as audiovisual or public services – and Brexit shall exacerbate such internal conflicts in the medium run; second, that megaregionals can be used to accelerate domestic regulatory reform and openness in the service sector; and, third, that TiSA will constitute a litmus test for the EU’s commitment to the WTO cause. When appropriate, the article draws parallels with existing EU legislation and case-law; other EU Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) such as the recently concluded Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada; the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS); and TiSA.

Keywords: Brexit, EU external action, common commercial policy, EU trade policy, trade in services, CETA, TTIP, TiSA

JEL Classification: F02, F13, F15, F53, K33, L80, L88

Suggested Citation

Delimatsis, Panagiotis, The Evolution of the EU External Trade Policy in Services - CETA, TTIP and TiSA after Brexit (July 3, 2017). Journal of International Economic Law, 2017, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Panagiotis Delimatsis (Contact Author)

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Postbus 90153
Tilburg, NL-5000 LE
0031 13 466 8251 (Phone)
0031 13 466 8047 (Fax)


Tilburg Law School ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Postbus 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE

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