This book critically engages with a long tradition of scholarly work that conceives of the European Union as a peculiar international
actor that pursues a value-based, normatively oriented and development-friendly agenda in its relations with international
partners. The EU is a pivotal player in international trade relations, holding formidable power in trade but also exercising
substantial power through trade. Trade policy therefore represents a strategic field for the EU to shape its image as a healthy
economy and a global power. In this field, the EU has declared a twofold ambitious goal, namely that of fostering economic
growth in Europe while, at the same time, promoting development and growth abroad, both in developed and developing countries.
In other words, the EU aims to increase its competitiveness in world trade while acting as an ethical and normative power.
Here, Poletti and Sicurelli explore the tension between these two roles.