(09.10.2003)    Siehe auch 19.12.03:   Protokolle in verschiedenen Sprachen

Meeting of the Working Party on Alcohol and Health

GATS Negotiations and Distribution Services

of Alcohol Beverages

Luxembourg, June 12th, 2003

Nicolas Bernier
European Commission
DG Trade
Trade in Services (including e-commerce)



Economic development and governance

The GATS is a multilateral agreement created by the Members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1994 at the end of the Uruguay round. It is about opening market access and granting national treatment to non-national providers ofservices.

The agreement includes a work programme ("builtin agenda") committing Members to successive rounds of negotiations aimed at progressively higher level of trade liberalisation.

First round of negotiations: Doha Development Agenda (DDA), Initiated in November 2001.
Target completion by end 2004.


The GATS is about trade in services, including:

• Professional services

• Business services

• Computer-related services

• Postal and courier

• Telecommunications

• Audio-visual

• Construction


• Educational services

• Environmental services

• Financial services - Banking and insurance

• Tourism and travel-related services

• Health-related and social services

• Transport

• Recreational, cultural and sporting services

• Others

GATS:modes of service supply

Mode 1 Cross-border supply

Mode 2 Consumption abroad

Mode 3 Commercial presence

Mode 4 Presence of natural people

GATS principles

Most-favoured-nation treatment - MFN

But exemptions are allowed for cases specified by the WTO. Member, and among countries
that are members of regional trading agreements (economic integration). The GATS does not interfere with the right of governments to regulate. Respect for the Members’ right to create and apply domestic regulation. 
Measures must be applied reasonably, objectively and impartially. Licencing requirements will not constitute unnecessary barriers to trade in services. Members have the right to modify or withdraw commitments, within certain rules and appropriate compensation.

GATS/Distribution services -
EU’s existing commitments

EU’s commitments since the Uruguay round (1995)

The EU has already a very significant commitments

In addition, there are country-specific limitations.

GATS/Distribution of alcoholic beverages
EU’s existing commitments

The EU has commitments for distribution of alcoholic

• Ireland does not have commitment for commercial presence of retailing services

• Sweden has no commitments on retailing services

• Finland has no commitments on any distribution service

This is fully compatible with our measures of domestic regulation governing distribution of alcoholic beverages.
Our GATS commitments are not in conflict with our highly responsible regulation of distribution of alcoholic beverages.

The EU and the GATS/DDA
round of negotiations

The EU is committed to progressively liberalise trade successful outcome is a responsibility of all major

GATS/DDA round - EU’s initial offer

The EU presented its DDA initial offer in April 2003. Public Consultation Process. The EU has made a very significant offer on distribution services, among other sectors.

But we have left unchanged the existing

GATS/DDA round -
Initial offers of other WTO Members

Around 25 WTO Members have already presented

The EU and the DDA round - Initial requests

According to the GATS procedures, initial requests

Wrap up

The EU is committed to regulate effectively the distribution of alcohol beverages, in order to protect public interests. ...And to promote liberalisation of trade in services on a multilateral basis (WTO/GATS). …Respecting the right of WTO Members to regulate.

These objectives are not in conflict and are fully trade liberalisation and respect domestic regulation.


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