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China [What Think Tanks are thinking]

08-02-2019

China’s increasingly autocratic domestic stance and its assertive foreign policy pose a dilemma for European Union policy-makers as to whether to treat the Asian powerhouse as a partner or a rival, or to take a position somewhere in between. Formally, the EU and China are strategic partners since 2003 - a partnership that was broadened five years ago by the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation. No EU country wants to be openly confrontational towards China, contrary to the approach of the ...

China’s increasingly autocratic domestic stance and its assertive foreign policy pose a dilemma for European Union policy-makers as to whether to treat the Asian powerhouse as a partner or a rival, or to take a position somewhere in between. Formally, the EU and China are strategic partners since 2003 - a partnership that was broadened five years ago by the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation. No EU country wants to be openly confrontational towards China, contrary to the approach of the current United States administration. However, several European governments are wary of Beijing’s economic expansionism and its efforts to take the global lead in digital technologies. Controversy over China’s telecoms giant Huawei has exacerbated those concerns. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on China, its ties with the EU and related issues. More studies on the topics can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are thinking' published in September 2018.

Multilateralism in international trade: Reforming the WTO

22-10-2018

Since its establishment in 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has embodied the multilateral trading system. Despite successes in some areas, including the effective settlement of numerous trade disputes and the conclusion of new multilateral trade agreements, the WTO currently faces serious challenges to its legitimacy and its effective functioning. Of particular concern is the US blockage of new appointments to the WTO’s Appellate Body (AB), which fulfils a key role in the WTO dispute settlement ...

Since its establishment in 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has embodied the multilateral trading system. Despite successes in some areas, including the effective settlement of numerous trade disputes and the conclusion of new multilateral trade agreements, the WTO currently faces serious challenges to its legitimacy and its effective functioning. Of particular concern is the US blockage of new appointments to the WTO’s Appellate Body (AB), which fulfils a key role in the WTO dispute settlement system. This impasse could soon paralyse the practical enforcement of multilateral trade rules, which would undermine the rules-based system. In addition, certain countries’ contentious trade practices cannot be addressed under existing WTO rules, and rules on transparency are not fully complied with. The WTO has also had limited success in adding new issues to its trade agenda, and the 2001 Doha round was inconclusive. This has led many countries to pursue their own trade agreements outside the WTO’s multilateral framework. The EU is a key supporter of the multilateral trading system and seeks to address the challenges that the WTO faces. In September 2018, the Commission published a concept paper on WTO reform, in particular in the areas of rule-making, regular work and transparency, and dispute settlement. Other countries have also been working on WTO reform, sometimes together with the EU. A meeting of 13 WTO members, including the EU, to discuss reform proposals is due to take place in Canada on 24 and 25 October 2018. The European Parliament strongly supports the multilateral trading system and has expressed its support for efforts to reform the WTO. Parliament’s International Trade Committee is currently drafting an own-initiative report on the matter. This is a further update of a briefing published in December 2017.

The future partnership between the European Union and the United Kingdom: Negotiating a framework for relations after Brexit

25-09-2018

Following the European Council's additional guidelines of March 2018, the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) have started discussions on their future relationship after Brexit. The aim is to agree on a political framework for their future partnership by autumn 2018, to be adopted alongside the withdrawal agreement. Conclusion of a treaty or treaties establishing future EU-UK relations will only take place after the UK leaves the Union and becomes a third country. Both parties have expressed ...

Following the European Council's additional guidelines of March 2018, the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) have started discussions on their future relationship after Brexit. The aim is to agree on a political framework for their future partnership by autumn 2018, to be adopted alongside the withdrawal agreement. Conclusion of a treaty or treaties establishing future EU-UK relations will only take place after the UK leaves the Union and becomes a third country. Both parties have expressed the desire to remain in a close partnership, which would cover several areas including trade and economic matters, internal security, foreign and security policy, and cooperation on defence. This study looks at the respective aims for, and principles underpinning, the negotiations, as expressed publicly to date by each party, and analyses some of the legal constraints and existing practices or precedents shaping EU cooperation with third-country partners. This allows assessment of the possibilities and limits of any future EU-UK partnership, in light of the stated objectives and 'red lines' officially announced, leading to the conclusion that, notwithstanding several common aims, significant divergences still persist with respect to the means of achieving the stated objectives.

State of EU-US relations

05-09-2018

Over a year and a half into the presidency of Donald Trump, transatlantic relations continue to adapt to new realities under the 'America First' foreign policy. Its implications have touched several areas, such as climate, defence, sanctions and cooperation within multilateral institutions. EU-US trade relations have deteriorated significantly. However, following a visit by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to the US in July, new bilateral trade talks are being prepared. During its September ...

Over a year and a half into the presidency of Donald Trump, transatlantic relations continue to adapt to new realities under the 'America First' foreign policy. Its implications have touched several areas, such as climate, defence, sanctions and cooperation within multilateral institutions. EU-US trade relations have deteriorated significantly. However, following a visit by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to the US in July, new bilateral trade talks are being prepared. During its September plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to discuss an own-initiative report addressing these issues.

Protectionism and international diplomacy

25-06-2018

Just three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall signifying the end of Cold War aggression and the ascendancy of international liberalism, the world faces even greater uncertainty. In every region of the world, geopolitical shifts are taking place that have brought offensive trade agendas to the fore. The US has withdrawn from underwriting the post-World War Two international economic and foreign policy architecture, instead proposing to build a wall between itself and neighbouring Mexico, imposing ...

Just three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall signifying the end of Cold War aggression and the ascendancy of international liberalism, the world faces even greater uncertainty. In every region of the world, geopolitical shifts are taking place that have brought offensive trade agendas to the fore. The US has withdrawn from underwriting the post-World War Two international economic and foreign policy architecture, instead proposing to build a wall between itself and neighbouring Mexico, imposing unilateral tariff increases while refusing to negotiate new international agreements. In Europe, the project of ever greater integration has been attacked by Brexit, as well as other populist sentiment against the perceived power of EU institutions and the forces of globalisation. The breakdown of the western coalition advocating global governance has left a power vacuum that other key players such as China are forced to respond to. These current tectonic shifts in power and foreign policy positions impact on every country and every individual in the early 21st century. While many governments strive to maintain international cooperation and further integration, it is an unpredictable era. For trade policy has established itself firmly within the arena of high foreign diplomacy and as a result, traditional assumptions and adherence to international norms can no longer be assumed in such a state of political and economic flux. Yet when trade policy becomes a tool of diplomacy and foreign policy, sound economic reasoning can be lost to political decision making. This report shines a spotlight on the rise of protectionism in the 21st century. It examines the diplomatic dynamics behind economic nationalism and its attack on the established liberal international institutions that were created after the second World War to settle disputes without recourse to war. Before focusing on the US, UK, EU and China, the first chapter centers on the threat to economic integration and cooperation in promoting sustainable development through the multilateral rules-based system established under the World Trade Organization.

Išorės autorius

Ms Kamala DAWAR

Future trade relations between the EU and the UK: Options after Brexit

16-03-2018

This study analyses the various options for the future trade relations between the EU and the UK, after Brexit. It examines the various models against the canvas of two distinct paradigms: market integration and trade liberalization. It finds that an intermediate model, which would allow for continued convergence and mutual recognition in some sectors/freedoms, but not others, is unavailable and cannot easily be constructed for legal, institutional, and political reasons. The stark choice is between ...

This study analyses the various options for the future trade relations between the EU and the UK, after Brexit. It examines the various models against the canvas of two distinct paradigms: market integration and trade liberalization. It finds that an intermediate model, which would allow for continued convergence and mutual recognition in some sectors/freedoms, but not others, is unavailable and cannot easily be constructed for legal, institutional, and political reasons. The stark choice is between a customs union/free trade agreement, or continued internal market membership through the EEA or an equivalent agreement. The study further analyses the effects of Brexit on the UK’s continued participation in the trade agreements concluded by the EU. Notwithstanding a range of complexities, the study finds that such continued participation is not automatic but subject to negotiation.

Išorės autorius

Piet Eeckhout

Saudi Arabia: Economic indicators and trade with EU

22-11-2017

The EU is Saudi Arabia's first trading partner in goods, with 16.3 % of Saudi Arabia’s global trade, followed by China with 14.1 % and the US with 11.8 %. Saudi Arabia is the EU's 15th trading partner in goods, with an EU market share of 1.5 %. The trade balance is positive for the EU, as this infographic illustrates. Trade between the EU and Saudi Arabia takes place within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia and the United ...

The EU is Saudi Arabia's first trading partner in goods, with 16.3 % of Saudi Arabia’s global trade, followed by China with 14.1 % and the US with 11.8 %. Saudi Arabia is the EU's 15th trading partner in goods, with an EU market share of 1.5 %. The trade balance is positive for the EU, as this infographic illustrates. Trade between the EU and Saudi Arabia takes place within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The GCC countries formed their own customs union on 1 January 2015. The EU exports a wide range of goods and services to the region; however, around 50 % of the EU's exported goods to the GCC are machinery, including power generation plants, railway locomotives, aircrafts, electrical machinery and mechanical appliances. Meanwhile, approximately 70 % of all EU imports from the GCC consist of fuels and their derivatives. Following a reliance on oil revenues for about 90% of its budget in recent years, Saudi Arabia has embarked on an ambitious plan to restructure its oil-dependent economy, known as Vision 2030, involving diversification, privatisation, tax increases and subsidy cuts. Saudi Arabia has significant defence relationships with a rising number of EU Member States, primarily driven by the trade in arms (and often also related contracts for training and maintenance).

EU-Russia trade continuing despite sanctions

14-11-2017

Since 2014, trade between the EU and Russia has slumped due to the difficult context (an economic downturn in Russia, EU sanctions over Ukraine and Russian counter-sanctions, and long-standing trade barriers), but remains substantial. Trade started to recover in early 2017. This publication updates an 'At a glance' note of January 2016, PE 573.931.

Since 2014, trade between the EU and Russia has slumped due to the difficult context (an economic downturn in Russia, EU sanctions over Ukraine and Russian counter-sanctions, and long-standing trade barriers), but remains substantial. Trade started to recover in early 2017. This publication updates an 'At a glance' note of January 2016, PE 573.931.

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - November 2017

13-11-2017

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

A renewed industrial policy strategy

09-11-2017

EU industry seems to be on a solid path to recovery from the crisis, with growth in both employment and value added. Industry creates jobs across the economy and is responsible for the bulk of investment in private research and development. In the same way as in other developed parts of the world, European industry is undergoing a transformation based not least on increased convergence between traditional industries and the digital sector. This change is bringing both opportunities and challenges ...

EU industry seems to be on a solid path to recovery from the crisis, with growth in both employment and value added. Industry creates jobs across the economy and is responsible for the bulk of investment in private research and development. In the same way as in other developed parts of the world, European industry is undergoing a transformation based not least on increased convergence between traditional industries and the digital sector. This change is bringing both opportunities and challenges. In order to maintain the global competitiveness of European industry, many current shortcomings, such as insufficient investment levels, widening productivity and innovation gaps, and skills shortages, must be addressed. Many of these issues have been emphasised before: in the aftermath of the recent crisis the EU sought to boost the reindustrialisation of Europe in order to stimulate jobs and growth. The European Commission under Jean-Claude Juncker has made this one of its top priorities and, after a series of related initiatives such as the investment plan and the circular economy package, in September 2017 it announced a renewed industrial policy strategy. This strategy takes a holistic approach, combining both existing and new horizontal and sector-specific initiatives, and sets out actions to be launched by early 2018. The newly proposed initiatives concern cybersecurity, free flow of non-personal data, trade and foreign investment, raw materials and public procurement. Upcoming proposals will concern the circular economy, the intellectual property rights framework, sustainable finance, mobility and skills. The reaction from stakeholders has been mixed: while many have welcomed the strategy in general, particularly its holistic approach and the involvement of multiple stakeholders, others have criticised it as lacking clear new objectives and actions and a long-term vision.

Būsimi renginiai

20-02-2020
What is our political nature? Knowledge and reason in political decision-making
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