New tool to enable EU to withstand economic coercion enters into force

Today, the Anti-Coercion Instrument (ACI) has entered into force, providing the EU with the means to deter and respond to economic coercion, and thereby better defend its interests and those of its Member States on the global stage.

The ACI is first and foremost designed to act as a deterrent against economic coercion. Where coercion still happens, the tool provides a structure to respond in a well-calibrated way to stop the coercion. It gives the EU a wide range of possible countermeasures when a country refuses to remove the coercion. These include the imposition of tariffs, restrictions on trade in services and trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights, and restrictions on access to foreign direct investment and public procurement.

The Regulation provides a legal framework for responding to coercion and sets down the means for the EU to investigate and take decisions. It includes timeframes and procedures for stakeholders affected by coercion to contact the Commission and hold a stakeholder consultation before taking countermeasures. The ACI likewise provides a framework for the EU to request a third country to repair the injury caused by its economic coercion.

The EU will continue to cooperate with like-minded partners and allies to address economic coercion, and the ACI is a significant addition to international efforts in this domain.


The EU and its Member States have become the target of deliberate economic pressure in recent years. The European Commission proposed the ACI in 2021 as part of its new trade strategy, as a specific tool to address economic coercion. This is defined as a situation where a third country attempts to pressure the EU or a Member State into making a particular choice by applying, or threatening to apply, measures affecting trade or investment against the EU or a Member State. The instrument can be triggered by a wide range of coercive practices.

The European Commission will take into account input from stakeholders when considering the activation of the instrument or the appropriate countermeasures in individual cases, and businesses are encouraged to come forward with relevant information. Additionally, a single point of contact has been established to assist in the application of this instrument. Any stakeholder may confidentially submit relevant information as regards incidents of economic coercion, or the application of the ACI more generally, by using the single point of contact.

The ACI and any actions which can be taken under the instrument are consistent with the EU's international obligations and fully grounded in international law. The ACI is just one of the important tools that are being introduced to help strengthen Europe's economic security, as part of the European economic security strategy presented by the European Commission in June 2023.

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Protecting against coercion

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