Clinical trials increasingly occur on a global scale as industry and government sponsors in wealthy countries move trials to low- and middle-income countries. The globalization of clinical research raises important questions about the economical and ethical aspects of clinical research and the translation of trial results to clinical practice: which ethical standards are applied? Are trials results accurate and valid, and can they be extrapolated to other settings? This article provides an overview of the strategy approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to clarify ethical standards for clinical research conducted outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and included in Marketing Authorization Applications. Reference to the EMA Reflection paper is made.