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International Agreements in Progress: EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement

04-10-2018

The free trade agreement (FTA) negotiated in 2015 with Vietnam has been described as the most ambitious deal of its type ever between the EU and a developing country. Not only will it eliminate over 99 % of customs duties on goods, it will also open up Vietnamese services markets to EU companies and strengthen protection of EU investments in the country. According to European Commission figures, the FTA could boost Vietnam's booming economy by as much as 15 % of GDP, with Vietnamese exports to Europe ...

The free trade agreement (FTA) negotiated in 2015 with Vietnam has been described as the most ambitious deal of its type ever between the EU and a developing country. Not only will it eliminate over 99 % of customs duties on goods, it will also open up Vietnamese services markets to EU companies and strengthen protection of EU investments in the country. According to European Commission figures, the FTA could boost Vietnam's booming economy by as much as 15 % of GDP, with Vietnamese exports to Europe growing by over one third. For the EU, the agreement is an important stepping stone to a wider trade deal with south-east Asia. However, Vietnamese manufacturing sectors may suffer from competition with the EU. NGOs and the European Parliament have also criticised the Commission for pursuing closer ties with a politically repressive regime, although the deal includes some safeguards against negative outcomes. Conclusion of the FTA was delayed by a 2017 opinion of the European Court of Justice. The Court ruled that the EU does not have the power to conclude agreements on certain investment-related issues on its own; therefore, the text as it then stood would also have to be ratified by the 28 Member States. To enable at least some parts of the FTA to be ratified more speedily at EU level, in August 2018 the EU and Vietnam agreed to take provisions on investment, for which Member State ratification is required, out of the main agreement and put them in a separate Investment Protection Agreement (IPA). Both the FTA and IPA are currently in translation and are expected to be formally submitted to the Council in late 2018, possibly enabling the FTA to come into force in the second half of 2019. Third edition. The ‘International Agreements in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification. To view earlier editions of this briefing, please see: PE 614.702, February 2018.

Research for AGRI Committee - EU - UK agricultural trade: state of play and possible impacts of Brexit

16-10-2017

This report analyzes current UK-EU27 agri-food trade, and quantifies the impacts of a return to WTO rules after Brexit. Agri-food trade is likely to decrease steeply, especially for meat and dairy sectors. However, there might be an opportunity for an increase in production in a reduced number of European sectors, such as red meat, cattle or wheat, to replace imports from the UK. More generally, Ireland is likely to be the most negatively impacted country and deserves particular attention during ...

This report analyzes current UK-EU27 agri-food trade, and quantifies the impacts of a return to WTO rules after Brexit. Agri-food trade is likely to decrease steeply, especially for meat and dairy sectors. However, there might be an opportunity for an increase in production in a reduced number of European sectors, such as red meat, cattle or wheat, to replace imports from the UK. More generally, Ireland is likely to be the most negatively impacted country and deserves particular attention during the Brexit process.

Awtur estern

Cecilia BELLORA, Charlotte EMLINGER, Jean FOURÉ, Houssein GUIMBARD

Indonesia and prospects for closer EU ties

09-10-2017

Public opinion surveys suggest that although most Indonesians do not know much about the European Union, they generally feel positively towards it. Looking at the principles underpinning key Indonesian government policies over the past few decades, there is much common ground between the EU and Indonesia. Some of the biggest gaps are in the field of economic policy, where the EU's commitment to trade and investment liberalisation contrasts with Indonesia's more ambiguous stance. There are more similarities ...

Public opinion surveys suggest that although most Indonesians do not know much about the European Union, they generally feel positively towards it. Looking at the principles underpinning key Indonesian government policies over the past few decades, there is much common ground between the EU and Indonesia. Some of the biggest gaps are in the field of economic policy, where the EU's commitment to trade and investment liberalisation contrasts with Indonesia's more ambiguous stance. There are more similarities in foreign and security policy: like the EU, Indonesia is strongly supportive of regional integration, and its efforts to build south-east Asian consensus mirror the EU's common foreign and security policy. Climate change is another area of convergence, with strong commitments from both sides to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Indonesia shares both the EU's motto of 'unity in diversity' and its commitment to multiculturalism; thanks to a successful democratic transition, it has also moved closer to the EU's approach to human rights, although there are still concerns about the situation of some Indonesian minorities. Positive Indonesian perceptions of the EU and shared values are a strong foundation for the two sides to develop closer economic and political cooperation. Indonesia is an important partner for the EU both in its own right and as a leading member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with which the EU aims to develop a strategic partnership.

Ukraine: Temporary autonomous trade measures

24-05-2017

In view of the difficult economic situation and on-going reform process in Ukraine, the European Commission proposes to improve access for Ukraine to the EU market for some industrial and agricultural products. The European Parliament (EP) plenary vote is scheduled for May.

In view of the difficult economic situation and on-going reform process in Ukraine, the European Commission proposes to improve access for Ukraine to the EU market for some industrial and agricultural products. The European Parliament (EP) plenary vote is scheduled for May.

Agriculture in the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)

26-07-2016

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a preferential trade and investment agreement, negotiated between the European Union (EU) and Canada but not yet in force, which aims at increasing the bilateral flow of goods, services and investments. CETA includes several elements which are directly related to agriculture, notably tariff cuts, tariff rate quotas and Geographical Indications, while the sections on subsidies, rules of origin and sanitary and phytosanitary rules also have implications ...

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a preferential trade and investment agreement, negotiated between the European Union (EU) and Canada but not yet in force, which aims at increasing the bilateral flow of goods, services and investments. CETA includes several elements which are directly related to agriculture, notably tariff cuts, tariff rate quotas and Geographical Indications, while the sections on subsidies, rules of origin and sanitary and phytosanitary rules also have implications for the sector.

EU continues to assist Tunisia's transition

19-02-2016

The launch of negotiations on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) is a key element in the EU's commitment to supporting democratic consolidation in Tunisia. The commitment is particularly important now, at a time when Tunisia is facing a politically and economically difficult period. The proposed legislation aimed at offering temporary exceptional access for Tunisian olive oil to the EU market is also to be viewed in this context. Both topics are the subject of a joint debate in ...

The launch of negotiations on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) is a key element in the EU's commitment to supporting democratic consolidation in Tunisia. The commitment is particularly important now, at a time when Tunisia is facing a politically and economically difficult period. The proposed legislation aimed at offering temporary exceptional access for Tunisian olive oil to the EU market is also to be viewed in this context. Both topics are the subject of a joint debate in plenary in February.

WTO Back on Track After Bali

11-12-2013

An agreement on trade reached through the World Trade Organisation in Bali will likely reduce global trading costs by 10-15 %. Red tape is likely to be substantially reduced. While the deal includes some new provisions on agriculture, the issue remains a thorny one among negotiating parties. The package also includes concessions on market access for developing countries. The Bali ministerial meeting marked good progress, but there remains much to be done before the WTO can conclude the Doha Development ...

An agreement on trade reached through the World Trade Organisation in Bali will likely reduce global trading costs by 10-15 %. Red tape is likely to be substantially reduced. While the deal includes some new provisions on agriculture, the issue remains a thorny one among negotiating parties. The package also includes concessions on market access for developing countries. The Bali ministerial meeting marked good progress, but there remains much to be done before the WTO can conclude the Doha Development Round. The global trading system has changed since the Doha round was initiated, and this should be taken into account.

The 2013 Ministerial Conference in Bali: Last Chance for the WTO?

25-11-2013

The current round of international trade negotiations are expected to culminate in the ninth Ministerial Conference (MC9) taking place in Bali from 3-5 December 2013. These negotiations are the continuation of those launched in Doha, Qatar, in 2001. Since then, seven Ministerial Conferences have taken place, but a deal has proven elusive. There are many reasons put forward to explain this, with the principal ones being the emergence of major developing countries and their wish to rebalance the trading ...

The current round of international trade negotiations are expected to culminate in the ninth Ministerial Conference (MC9) taking place in Bali from 3-5 December 2013. These negotiations are the continuation of those launched in Doha, Qatar, in 2001. Since then, seven Ministerial Conferences have taken place, but a deal has proven elusive. There are many reasons put forward to explain this, with the principal ones being the emergence of major developing countries and their wish to rebalance the trading system; the concept of ‘the single undertaking’ (meaning nothing is agreed until everything is agreed); and to the intrinsic difficulties of finding agreement among 159 member countries, each of which has its preferences for the scope and content of any agreement. The MC9 is generally seen as the last chance in the foreseeable future to reach a global deal. Failure in this respect would represent a serious setback for the WTO.

An Assessment of the Balancing of EU Development Objectives with Other Policies and Priorities

21-03-2011

EU's trade, agriculture, climate change and migration policies have a large impact on the Union's development objectives, reason why coherence between these and development policies is crucial. The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) and Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are powerful policy tools and the recent revisions of the GSP and the conclusion of most recent EPAs are in principle coherent with development objectives. However, detailed analysis shows that ‘sensitive product’ lists, ...

EU's trade, agriculture, climate change and migration policies have a large impact on the Union's development objectives, reason why coherence between these and development policies is crucial. The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) and Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are powerful policy tools and the recent revisions of the GSP and the conclusion of most recent EPAs are in principle coherent with development objectives. However, detailed analysis shows that ‘sensitive product’ lists, particularly high tariffs for semi-processed and final goods, and rules of origin undermine the positive potential impact of the GSP system. At the same time, tailormade liberalisation programs in the EPAs risk regional integration and export diversification. As regards migration policy, there is clear need to prioritize policy coherence for development over conflicting interests between different Commission departments. In the area of climate change there is need for improvement, especially as regards climate funding and mainstreaming of climate change concerns into EU development cooperation. In agriculture, the EU export and domestic subsidies have a negative impact on developing countries and there is a need for more coherence Union's development.

Awtur estern

Selen Sarisoy Guerin (IES VUB, BELGIUM), Sevidzem Kingah (UNI-CRIS and IES, BELGIUM), Christiane Gerstetter (Ecologic Institute, GERMANY) and Jenny Kirschey (Ecologic Institute, GERMANY)

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