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Parliamentary questions
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13 June 2018
Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-002200/2018

Pursuant to the Treaties, and following Opinion 2/15 of the Court of Justice clarifying the areas that fall under the exclusive competence of the European Union, the Commission is convinced that the current Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Japan should be concluded by the Union. This is why the Commission has proposed to the Council the signature and adoption of the EU-Japan EPA as an EU-only agreement. This means that the conclusion of the EU-Japan EPA would only need approval by the Council and consent of the European Parliament. The roles of the Council and Parliament ensure legitimacy and inclusiveness of the adoption process — in particular, this process allows Member States' governments to consult their national parliaments before taking a position in the Council.

It should also be noted that on the issue of investment protection, while significant progress has been made so far, further discussions between the EU and Japan are still needed, notably on the main issue that remains open: the mechanism for resolving investment protection disputes. Separate negotiations will therefore continue in parallel to the adoption process of the EPA. Based on Opinion 2/15, it is very likely that an eventual agreement would be mixed if it contains a mechanism for resolving investment disputes between investors and states. The Commission has recently proposed as mixed an investment protection agreement with Singapore with content of that nature.

Last updated: 14 June 2018Legal notice