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International Agreements in Progress: Modernisation of the trade pillar of the EU-Mexico Global Agreement

02-10-2020

On 21 April 2018, the EU and Mexico reached an agreement in principle on a modernised trade pillar of the EU-Mexico Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement, also known as the Global Agreement, in force since 2000. On 28 April 2020, negotiations were formally concluded after the only outstanding item – EU access to sub federal public procurement contracts in Mexico – was agreed upon. The trade pillar of the Global Agreement was the first trade liberalisation agreement ...

On 21 April 2018, the EU and Mexico reached an agreement in principle on a modernised trade pillar of the EU-Mexico Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement, also known as the Global Agreement, in force since 2000. On 28 April 2020, negotiations were formally concluded after the only outstanding item – EU access to sub federal public procurement contracts in Mexico – was agreed upon. The trade pillar of the Global Agreement was the first trade liberalisation agreement the EU concluded with a Latin American country. It has contributed to a significant increase in EU Mexico trade in services and industrial goods. However, it has become outdated, as both parties have entered into a wide range of preferential trade agreements with state-of-the-art provisions reflecting new developments in trade and investment policies. Removing non-tariff barriers to trade, and further liberalising trade in agricultural goods would allow the EU and Mexico to enhance their competitive edge in each other's markets. After the trade pillar's legal scrutiny and translation, it will become part of a three-pronged Global Agreement that will also contain revamped political dialogue and cooperation pillars and will be signed by the Council of the EU and its Mexican counterpart. The new Global Agreement will subsequently be submitted to the European Parliament for its consent. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Roderick Harte. The 'International Agreements in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification.

International Agreements in Progress - EU–China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment: Levelling the playing field with China

11-09-2020

Lack of reciprocity in access to the Chinese market and the absence of a level playing field for EU investors in China have posed major challenges for EU-China investment relations in recent years, with the negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on investment (CAI) being considered by the EU a key instrument to remedy this state of play. The CAI negotiations are aimed at establishing a uniform legal framework for EU-China investment ties by replacing the 25 outdated bilateral investment treaties ...

Lack of reciprocity in access to the Chinese market and the absence of a level playing field for EU investors in China have posed major challenges for EU-China investment relations in recent years, with the negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on investment (CAI) being considered by the EU a key instrument to remedy this state of play. The CAI negotiations are aimed at establishing a uniform legal framework for EU-China investment ties by replacing the 25 outdated bilateral investment treaties (BITs) China and EU Member States concluded prior to the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 when the EU gained competence for most investment issues. The CAI is intended to go far beyond traditional investment protection to also cover market access, investment-related sustainable development, and level playing field issues, such as transparency of subsidies, and rules on state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and forced technology transfer. Although leaders at the 2019 EU-China Summit jointly committed to concluding the CAI talks in 2020, lack of engagement at the highest political level on the Chinese side has raised doubts as to whether a breakthrough can be reached in time, with China more focused on navigating the uncertainties of its relations with the United States from January 2021. First edition. The 'International Agreements in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification.

EU-China geographical indications agreement

02-09-2020

On 6 November 2019, the EU and China concluded negotiations on a standalone agreement on cooperation on, and protection of, geographical indications (GIs), i.e. distinctive signs attached to (mainly) agricultural products that have a given quality, reputation or other characteristics that are attributable to their specific geographic origin. GIs are a type of intellectual property right (IPR) protected at multilateral level under the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ...

On 6 November 2019, the EU and China concluded negotiations on a standalone agreement on cooperation on, and protection of, geographical indications (GIs), i.e. distinctive signs attached to (mainly) agricultural products that have a given quality, reputation or other characteristics that are attributable to their specific geographic origin. GIs are a type of intellectual property right (IPR) protected at multilateral level under the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and in the EU under a sui generis GI protection regime. The reciprocal EU-China agreement seeks to protect 100 EU GIs in China and 100 Chinese GIs in the EU against imitation and usurpation. On 20 July 2020, the Council endorsed its signature, and the European Parliament has now to give its consent for the agreement's conclusion. Once in force, the agreement could help boost EU exports of high-quality foodstuffs, wines and spirits to the EU's third-largest destination for agrifood exports, and foster rural development. It would also expand global recognition of the EU's sui generis GI protection regime, a key EU trade policy objective.

Review of EU Enforcement Regulation for trade disputes

20-07-2020

On 12 December 2019, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend Regulation (EU) No 654/2014 concerning the exercise of the EU's rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules ('the Enforcement Regulation') of 15 May 2014. The Enforcement Regulation enables the EU to suspend or withdraw concessions or other obligations under international trade agreements in order to respond to breaches by third countries of international trade rules that affect the EU's commercial ...

On 12 December 2019, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend Regulation (EU) No 654/2014 concerning the exercise of the EU's rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules ('the Enforcement Regulation') of 15 May 2014. The Enforcement Regulation enables the EU to suspend or withdraw concessions or other obligations under international trade agreements in order to respond to breaches by third countries of international trade rules that affect the EU's commercial interests. The proposed amendments would enable the EU to impose counter-measures in situations where EU trade partners violate international trade rules and block the dispute settlement procedures included in multilateral, regional and bilateral trade agreements, thus preventing the EU from obtaining final binding rulings in its favour. The latter are required under the current EU regulation to enforce international trade rules. As the Council adopted its negotiating position on 8 April 2020 and the Committee on International Trade (INTA) of the European Parliament adopted its negotiating position on 6 July 2020, trilogue negotiations can now be launched as the next step in the legislative process. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

EU-China relations: Taking stock after the 2020 EU-China Summit

30-06-2020

The 22nd EU-China Summit, originally scheduled for March 2020, was postponed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. While other summits were simply cancelled or postponed indefinitely, the EU and China decided to hold the summit by video-link, on 22 June 2020. This decision testifies to the importance both sides attach to taking their complex relationship forward in difficult times. The 2020 summit offered the opportunity to take stock of progress made on past commitments and to re-calibrate EU-China relations ...

The 22nd EU-China Summit, originally scheduled for March 2020, was postponed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. While other summits were simply cancelled or postponed indefinitely, the EU and China decided to hold the summit by video-link, on 22 June 2020. This decision testifies to the importance both sides attach to taking their complex relationship forward in difficult times. The 2020 summit offered the opportunity to take stock of progress made on past commitments and to re-calibrate EU-China relations, against the backdrop of the wide-ranging fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, growing United States-China strategic rivalry, rapid geopolitical power shifts and the erosion of multilateralism. Looking at EU-China relations through the lens of the 2019 EU-China strategic outlook, China is seen as being at once a partner for cooperation and negotiation, an economic competitor and a systemic rival. China has been a cooperation and negotiating partner for the EU in several fields where interests have converged. Nonetheless, the different norms and values underlying the EU and Chinese political and economic systems have made cooperation challenging. Shared objectives do not necessarily lead to the same approaches to pursuing them. Economic competition has become fiercer in China, in the EU and in third markets. As the Chinese leadership shows growing assertiveness in disseminating alternative models of governance – at international, regional and bilateral levels, China is also acting as a systemic rival, on an increasing number of issues. The coronavirus pandemic has amplified pre-existing political and economic challenges in EU-China relations. It has exposed the EU's over-reliance on China for the supply of strategic goods and also China's confrontational 'Wolf Warrior diplomacy', which has involved the use of a wide range of tools, including disinformation campaigns, political influence and economic coercion, in an attempt to alter narratives critical of China's management of the crisis. It has also clearly demonstrated the need for a 'more robust' EU policy on China.

Hong Kong: ¿una ley de seguridad impuesta por Pekín?

11-06-2020

El 28 de mayo de 2020, la Asamblea Popular Nacional (APN) de la República Popular China autorizó a su Comité Permanente (CP) a aprobar una ley de seguridad nacional para Hong Kong sin pasar por el Parlamento de la ciudad, el Consejo Legislativo. Esta ley, que seguramente entrará en vigor antes de las elecciones legislativas de Hong Kong previstas para septiembre de 2020, será muy probablemente un punto de inflexión para el «alto grado de autonomía» de la ciudad, y marcará la prematura desaparición ...

El 28 de mayo de 2020, la Asamblea Popular Nacional (APN) de la República Popular China autorizó a su Comité Permanente (CP) a aprobar una ley de seguridad nacional para Hong Kong sin pasar por el Parlamento de la ciudad, el Consejo Legislativo. Esta ley, que seguramente entrará en vigor antes de las elecciones legislativas de Hong Kong previstas para septiembre de 2020, será muy probablemente un punto de inflexión para el «alto grado de autonomía» de la ciudad, y marcará la prematura desaparición del modelo «un país, dos sistemas» que hubiera debido durar cincuenta años a contar desde1997. El Parlamento Europeo tiene previsto debatir sobre una declaración del Alto Representante en el Pleno de junio.

China's democratic neighbours and coronavirus: Protecting populations without lockdowns

06-05-2020

North-east Asian countries have deep and historical economic, human and cultural connections with China, based on their geographical proximity to the latter country, and were the first to be exposed to the coronavirus contagion after its initial outbreak. They were not caught unprepared, having dealt with the SARS and the MERS epidemics in recent times. South Korea and Taiwan, in particular, have successfully showcased a model characterised by minimal restrictions on economic activities and daily ...

North-east Asian countries have deep and historical economic, human and cultural connections with China, based on their geographical proximity to the latter country, and were the first to be exposed to the coronavirus contagion after its initial outbreak. They were not caught unprepared, having dealt with the SARS and the MERS epidemics in recent times. South Korea and Taiwan, in particular, have successfully showcased a model characterised by minimal restrictions on economic activities and daily lives, where safeguarding the health of the people has not had devastating consequences for the health of the economy, as witnessed in other parts of the world. They have also showed that it is possible to effectively manage the coronavirus threat transparently, without authoritarian methods. Their models, illustrating that it is possible to implement a successful – albeit sometimes unnoticed – alternative to a liberal laissez-faire model or to a drastic lockdown, could become precious assets for public diplomacy and soft power tools. Given the high rate of information and communications technology penetration in the region, it has been easier for the authorities to make use of big data and contact-tracing by smartphone in order to prevent the pandemic from spreading, as well as collect information on those infected. However, this approach has raised issues of privacy, especially as the details collected allow the identification of those infected and could possibly expose them to stigmatisation. Despite the coronavirus outbreak, South Korea is a healthy democracy. It successfully held a general election on 15 April 2020, giving substance to the statement made by the European Parliament's President, David Sassoli: 'Democracy cannot be suspended in the face of Covid-19'.

Religion and the EU's external policies: Increasing engagement

12-02-2020

Religion has been emerging as a new dimension in the EU's external policies. This paper provides an overview of the principles, institutional set-up and policies underpinning the EU's approach to religious issues in third countries. Nine case studies meanwhile serve to illustrate the important role played by religion in the foreign policies of a number of different countries worldwide.

Religion has been emerging as a new dimension in the EU's external policies. This paper provides an overview of the principles, institutional set-up and policies underpinning the EU's approach to religious issues in third countries. Nine case studies meanwhile serve to illustrate the important role played by religion in the foreign policies of a number of different countries worldwide.

El comercio de la Unión con América Latina y el Caribe: Panorama general y cifras

16-12-2019

Los treinta y tres países que forman la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC) son, de forma conjunta, el quinto socio comercial más importante de la Unión. La Unión mantiene acuerdos plenamente funcionales con dos agrupaciones de América Latina (el Cariforum y el grupo de Centroamérica), un acuerdo comercial multilateral con tres países de la Comunidad Andina (Colombia, el Ecuador y el Perú) y acuerdos con México y Chile que están en trámites de modernización. Asimismo, la Unión ...

Los treinta y tres países que forman la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC) son, de forma conjunta, el quinto socio comercial más importante de la Unión. La Unión mantiene acuerdos plenamente funcionales con dos agrupaciones de América Latina (el Cariforum y el grupo de Centroamérica), un acuerdo comercial multilateral con tres países de la Comunidad Andina (Colombia, el Ecuador y el Perú) y acuerdos con México y Chile que están en trámites de modernización. Asimismo, la Unión mantiene acuerdos marco interregionales y bilaterales tanto con el Mercosur como con cada uno de sus miembros. Los acuerdos de la Unión que regulan las relaciones comerciales con las agrupaciones y los países de América Latina y el Caribe difieren considerablemente en cuanto a la cobertura y la metodología, en función del momento en el que se firmaron y del contexto de las negociaciones. La Unión está modernizando actualmente los pilares comerciales de sus acuerdos con México (se alcanzó un «acuerdo de principio» en abril de 2018) y Chile (las negociaciones todavía siguen su curso), con el fin de adaptarlos a las normas vigentes sobre acuerdos de libre comercio de la Unión. Si se logra ratificar el Acuerdo de Asociación UE-Mercosur, que incluye un pilar comercial para el que se alcanzó un acuerdo político en junio de 2019, la Unión contaría entonces con acuerdos exhaustivos en materia de relaciones comerciales con casi toda América Latina y el Caribe (con la excepción de Bolivia, Cuba y Venezuela).

Galardonado con el Premio Sájarov 2019: Ilham Tohti

10-12-2019

El espacio para la libertad de conciencia se está reduciendo drásticamente en todo el mundo debido a un aumento del peso geopolítico y geoeconómico de los regímenes autoritarios. El Premio Sájarov a la Libertad de Conciencia es, por lo tanto, más importante que nunca, ya que permite que el Parlamento Europeo llame la atención sobre la difícil situación que viven quienes se oponen a la represión de los derechos humanos y de las libertades fundamentales, principios en los que se basa la Unión y que ...

El espacio para la libertad de conciencia se está reduciendo drásticamente en todo el mundo debido a un aumento del peso geopolítico y geoeconómico de los regímenes autoritarios. El Premio Sájarov a la Libertad de Conciencia es, por lo tanto, más importante que nunca, ya que permite que el Parlamento Europeo llame la atención sobre la difícil situación que viven quienes se oponen a la represión de los derechos humanos y de las libertades fundamentales, principios en los que se basa la Unión y que promueve en sus relaciones exteriores, de conformidad con el artículo 21 del Tratado de la Unión Europea. El galardonado con el Premio Sájarov 2019 es un reputado profesor de economía uigur, Ilham Tohti, defensor moderado de los derechos de la minoría uigur y del diálogo con la mayoría han en China. En 2014 fue condenado a cadena perpetua acusado de cargos relacionados con el separatismo, en un contexto de endurecimiento por parte de China de la política de lucha contra el extremismo religioso, el separatismo étnico y el terrorismo, que en la actualidad señala a la identidad uigur como una importante amenaza para la seguridad nacional. El Premio Sájarov está dotado con 50 000 euros, y se presentará en una ceremonia que tendrá lugar en el Parlamento Europeo durante la sesión plenaria de diciembre en Estrasburgo, en presencia de los demás finalistas.

Próximos actos

26-10-2020
European Gender Equality Week - October 26-29, 2020
Otro acto -
FEMM TRAN LIBE BECA AIDA INTA CULT EMPL DROI SEDE DEVE
26-10-2020
Joint LIBE - FEMM Hearing on Trafficking in human beings
Audiencia -
LIBE FEMM
27-10-2020
Hearing on Rebuilding fish stocks in the Mediterranean: next steps
Audiencia -
PECH

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