Directorate-General for Trade

Key Personnel

  • Commissioner for Trade: Karl de Gucht (VLD, Belgium)
  • Director General: David O’Sullivan
  • Deputy Director General: Joao Aguiar Machado
  • Deputy Director General: Peter Balas


The Directorate-General for Trade is the part of the European Commission which represents the trade interests of the European Union. They are responsible for helping world trade and development through promoting growth and competitiveness. Their remit includes intellectual property.


Their responsibilities are:

“to define (and reappraise) the trade interests of the European Community in both defensive and offensive terms;

wherever the Union’s commercial policy objectives so require, to negotiate bilateral, regional or multilateral agreements on the basis of negotiating directives proposed by the Commission and adopted by the council;

to monitor and ensure the implementation of international agreements by using the WTO dispute settlement system and the instruments for trade promotion or defence adopted by the Community...;

to take part in devising and monitoring internal or external policies which have a bearing on the Union’s trade and external investments (single market, consumers, health, environment, technology, intellectual property, competitiveness, competition, energy, transport, agriculture, sectoral measures)...;

to provide the public, both sides of the industry, civil society and professional circles with clear, comprehensive and up-to-date information while seeking their opinions in compliance with the rules set down in the Commission’s codes of conduct”

Further Information