Focus Group No. 2 – Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)

Michael Emerson, Veronika Movchan, Vadim Gumene, Lali Gogoberidze

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In March 2019 we began what will be a series of monthly focus group meetings on key aspects of the Association Agreements and DCFTAs between the EU and Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Focus group sessions will be held in each of the three capitals with a range of stakeholders (government, business, civil society, etc.) using a standardized questionnaire. The focus groups are organised and moderated by our partners in the three capitals: IER in Kyiv, Expert-Grup in Chisinau and Reformatics in Tbilisi.

The objective is to get fresh views on how the Association Agreements and DCFTAs are progressing in practice. This may lead to recommendations to policymakers in the three capitals and the EU institutions.

While the views of individual participants are treated as confidential, reports are published drawing together a synthesis of the findings. Focus Group No 2 concerned ‘Technical Barriers to Trade’, which is the official name for the body of industrial product regulations and standards. At the EU level the legislation consists of a large set of directives, implemented in many cases by technical standards adopted by the European standards organizations – CEN, CENELEC and ETSI, which work in close collaboration with the International Standards Organization (ISO) in Geneva.

The number of participants in this Focus Group ranged between 15 and 19, with representatives of government bodies and private businesses and associations.