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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: International trade and globalisation

28-06-2019

The European Community was founded on the belief that economic integration leads to peace and economic prosperity. Trade is therefore a fundamental part of the identity of the European Union (EU) today. Given the success of the internal market in fostering the longest period of European peace in modern history, the EU considers itself an example of the benefits of trade, globalisation and economic openness. International trade policy is an exclusive competence of the EU, and with the combined economic ...

The European Community was founded on the belief that economic integration leads to peace and economic prosperity. Trade is therefore a fundamental part of the identity of the European Union (EU) today. Given the success of the internal market in fostering the longest period of European peace in modern history, the EU considers itself an example of the benefits of trade, globalisation and economic openness. International trade policy is an exclusive competence of the EU, and with the combined economic weight of its Member States behind it, the EU is one of the key players in global trade. Yet trade policy is about more than stability and growth for the EU, as it is also used to encourage poor countries to develop, foster international alliances and support fundamental values in the world. A strong partner in the World Trade Organization (WTO), the EU backs an international trading system based on rules rather than might. The benefits of globalisation and international trade have nevertheless been questioned in recent years, including within the EU. This has led it to reinvigorate its trade policy, in particular by presenting a new trade strategy and a reflection paper on harnessing globalisation. The EU's new 'trade for all' strategy addresses criticisms and focuses on making its trade policy more effective, transparent and value-based. In line with this strategy, the EU has pursued ongoing trade negotiations with renewed vigour and launched new trade and investment talks, resulting in state-of-the-art agreements with countries such as Canada and Japan. The EU faces uncertain times due to major shifts in international trade, coming from both the West and the East. In response, it seeks to promote economic openness, standing up for its values and protecting its interests. For example, the EU has retaliated against United States (US) steel tariffs and continues to defend the rules-based international trading order. Contentious trading practices on the part of third countries, including China, have led the EU to modernise its trade defence instruments, prepare a new foreign investment screening mechanism and seek a reform of the WTO. The EU is likely to continue this approach in the coming term, pursuing international cooperation and new agreements, possibly also at a continental level with Africa, and striving to protect its citizens and businesses from economic harm. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Single market information tool (SMIT)

06-05-2019

Competition and consumer protection in the single market are often undermined by price discrimination based on residency. While many market players do not cooperate with the Commission, for instance not disclosing their pricing structure, Member States often do not have the means or the tools to collect and deliver the required information to the Commission. The SMIT proposal would provide the Commission with powers such as to request business-related information (e.g. cost structure or product volumes ...

Competition and consumer protection in the single market are often undermined by price discrimination based on residency. While many market players do not cooperate with the Commission, for instance not disclosing their pricing structure, Member States often do not have the means or the tools to collect and deliver the required information to the Commission. The SMIT proposal would provide the Commission with powers such as to request business-related information (e.g. cost structure or product volumes sold), and to address market failures in a more efficient way. The SMIT, however, has raised some criticism in the Council and EP, inter alia, because of the Commission’s choice of the legal basis for the proposal. Parliament’s Legal Service stated in an opinion that the correct legal basis for the Commission proposal is Article 337 TFEU: a legal basis which gives no legislative role for the EP. On 12 July 2018, the IMCO committee adopted a report which would amend the proposal’s legal basis. The JURI committee subsequently adopted an opinion stating that the Commission proposal goes beyond the powers available under the proposed revised legal basis. The report was initially due to be voted in plenary in October 2018, but was taken off the agenda. As the parliamentary term has concluded, the report has now lapsed. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

EU investment protection after the ECJ Opinion on Singapore: Questions of competence and coherence

25-03-2019

Investment protection continues to be a controversial issue, as shown in particular during the negotiations on the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). To address stakeholder concerns, the EU has moved from traditional investor-state dispute settlement arrangements towards introducing bilateral investment court systems in new agreements and pursuing the goal of establishing a permanent multilateral investment ...

Investment protection continues to be a controversial issue, as shown in particular during the negotiations on the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). To address stakeholder concerns, the EU has moved from traditional investor-state dispute settlement arrangements towards introducing bilateral investment court systems in new agreements and pursuing the goal of establishing a permanent multilateral investment court. At the same time, the European Court of Justice defined the limits of the Union’s exclusive competence in its opinion of 16 May 2017 with regard to the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which has led to the splitting of new FTAs into two parts, treating investment protection separately. Adding to the complex picture, a plethora of EU Member States’ bilateral investment treaties also remain in place. The workshop held by the Committee on International Trade took stock of existing EU investment protection provisions and analysed the options for a coherent and predictable dispute settlement system in line with the EU Treaties.

Autor externo

Prof. Dr. Steffen HINDELANG, LL.M., Department of Law, University of Southern Denmark, and Dr. Jurgita BAUR, Germany; and Prof. Dr. Stephan SCHILL, LL.M., Amsterdam Center for International Law, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Universal jurisdiction and international crimes: Constraints and best practices

17-09-2018

This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), in association with the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). Academics and practitioners discussed international trends as regards the concept of universal jurisdiction and the EU’s approach to promoting universal jurisdiction through its external relations, as well as practical experience in applying universal ...

This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), in association with the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). Academics and practitioners discussed international trends as regards the concept of universal jurisdiction and the EU’s approach to promoting universal jurisdiction through its external relations, as well as practical experience in applying universal jurisdiction in the fight against impunity in Europe. The experts agreed that universal jurisdiction can play a role as part of a wider accountability strategy, complementary to international courts and prosecutions on other jurisdictional bases. They recommended more specialised training for investigators, prosecutors, judges and law enforcement staff for universal jurisdiction cases and more cooperation at EU and international level. Speakers supported the initiative for a multilateral treaty on mutual legal assistance and extradition. Special attention in universal jurisdiction cases must be given to victims seeking justice, including for sexual and gender-based crimes.

Autor externo

Julia KREBS, Cedric RYNGAERT, Florian JEßBERGER

Conclusion of the Marrakesh Treaty

10-01-2018

The Marrakesh Treaty was adopted on 27 June 2013 to facilitate access to published works for people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled. The European Parliament is due to vote on giving its consent to the Council for the conclusion of the treaty during its January plenary session.

The Marrakesh Treaty was adopted on 27 June 2013 to facilitate access to published works for people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled. The European Parliament is due to vote on giving its consent to the Council for the conclusion of the treaty during its January plenary session.

Free and fair trade for all?

21-11-2017

With its strategy paper entitled ‘Trade for all’ in 2015, the Commission launched an EU trade policy that focussed on values such as human rights, workers’ rights, environmental protection and sustainable development. The idea was that free trade should be fair for both consumers in Europe and for citizens elsewhere. This approach was pursued in bilateral trade negotiations and in legislative proposals on, for example, conflict minerals, dual-use goods or the investment court system. But by the end ...

With its strategy paper entitled ‘Trade for all’ in 2015, the Commission launched an EU trade policy that focussed on values such as human rights, workers’ rights, environmental protection and sustainable development. The idea was that free trade should be fair for both consumers in Europe and for citizens elsewhere. This approach was pursued in bilateral trade negotiations and in legislative proposals on, for example, conflict minerals, dual-use goods or the investment court system. But by the end of 2016 the tenor of the debate on international trade had changed, shifting the focus to national interests and fairness for consumers and producers at home. The UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU and the election of President Trump in the US, together with the expiry of the clause recognising China’s non-market economy status, contributed to this shift. The European Parliament has played a crucial role in shaping the direction of EU trade policy. While its 2015 resolution on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) set the values-based trade agenda, its resolutions in 2016 and 2017 on China’s market economy status and global value chains reflected the shift in values. The Commission is seeking to balance free and fair trade but new challenges lie ahead, notably in the EU’s neighbourhood: Russia, the Eastern Partnership, Turkey and the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Single Market Information Tool

05-10-2017

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 2 May 2017 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection. The creation of a deeper and fairer single market is one of the ten main priorities of the Juncker Commission. To this end, the Commission proposed a new single market strategy in 2015. One of the key areas of the single market strategy ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 2 May 2017 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection. The creation of a deeper and fairer single market is one of the ten main priorities of the Juncker Commission. To this end, the Commission proposed a new single market strategy in 2015. One of the key areas of the single market strategy’s targeted actions is dedicated to a smart enforcement strategy and the culture of compliance and is entitled ‘Ensuring practical delivery’. Within this area, the strategy announced, among other actions, ‘a regulatory initiative on a market information tool for the Single Market, enabling the Commission to collect information from selected market players’ (Single Market Strategy, p.16). It is this 'Single Market Information Tool' (SMIT) that is the subject of the Commission proposal. Two other initiatives were proposed by the Commission alongside the SMIT on 2 May 2017 as part of the compliance package: a regulation establishing a single digital gateway and an action plan on the reinforcement of the SOLVIT tool .

Common minimum standards of civil proceedings

27-06-2017

Since 2015, Member States must accept most civil judgments from other EU countries without reviewing their content (abolition of exequatur). This has raised concerns about the need for ensuring that civil proceedings across the EU conform to common minimum standards. The European Parliament is due to vote in July on a report requesting the Commission table a proposal for a directive on such standards, which might be a first step towards a European Code of Civil Procedure.

Since 2015, Member States must accept most civil judgments from other EU countries without reviewing their content (abolition of exequatur). This has raised concerns about the need for ensuring that civil proceedings across the EU conform to common minimum standards. The European Parliament is due to vote in July on a report requesting the Commission table a proposal for a directive on such standards, which might be a first step towards a European Code of Civil Procedure.

National Options and Discretions (NODs) in EU Banking Regulation - Overview, SSM Action and Possible Next Steps

19-01-2017

This briefing gives an overview of existing National options and discretions (NODs) in EU banking regulation, takes stock of the action undertaken by the Single Supervisory Mechanism so far to harmonize them - notably the publication on 24 March 2016 of an ECB Regulation and an ECB guide on options and discretions - and points to possible next steps. This briefing is regularly updated.

This briefing gives an overview of existing National options and discretions (NODs) in EU banking regulation, takes stock of the action undertaken by the Single Supervisory Mechanism so far to harmonize them - notably the publication on 24 March 2016 of an ECB Regulation and an ECB guide on options and discretions - and points to possible next steps. This briefing is regularly updated.

Cross-border recognition of adoptions

30-11-2016

The European Added Value Assessment (EAVA) presents a qualitative analysis of possible policy options and quantitative estimates on the possible additional value of taking legislative action on the EU level related to cross-border recognition of adoptions.The EAVA identifies economic and social costs, and notably the costs related to the incomplete protection of rights of mobile EU citizens, which are born as a result of the absence of regulation on automatic recognition of adoption decisions at ...

The European Added Value Assessment (EAVA) presents a qualitative analysis of possible policy options and quantitative estimates on the possible additional value of taking legislative action on the EU level related to cross-border recognition of adoptions.The EAVA identifies economic and social costs, and notably the costs related to the incomplete protection of rights of mobile EU citizens, which are born as a result of the absence of regulation on automatic recognition of adoption decisions at the EU level. The substantive scope of the EAVA is limited to the issues related to the recognition of adoptions in EU Member States. The substantive family law issues, as well as issues related to the recognition of convention adoptions, within the meaning of the 1993 Hague Convention on Intercountry adoptions, are not covered in this assessment.  

Futuros eventos

03-03-2020
Demographic Outlook for the EU in 2020: Understanding population trends in the EU
Outro evento -
EPRS
05-03-2020
Has the EU become a regulatory superpower? How it's rules are shaping global markets
Outro evento -
EPRS

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