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Parliamentary questions
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12 October 2018
E-004125/2018(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-004125/2018

Based on the opinion of the Court of Justice of the EU on the Singapore Free Trade Agreement (Opinion 2/15 of 16 May 2017), the Commission considered that the text of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (‘Agreement’) as presented to the Council on 18 April 2018 covered only matters that fall under EU exclusive competence based on the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Articles 91, 100, 207 and 218). As a consequence, the Agreement only requires the approval of the Council and the consent of the European Parliament.

As to investment, only liberalisation provisions are included in the Agreement, whereas negotiations on investment protection standards and dispute resolution continue.

The main issue that remains open is the mechanism for resolving investment protection disputes, on which further discussion with Japan is needed to achieve a satisfactory outcome, as the EU has made clear that there is no possibility to return to an old-style Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system. Once an agreement has been reached, the outcome will most likely follow the ratification procedure foreseen for a mixed agreement, which includes approval by Member States' national Parliaments.

The Commission has prepared an assessment of the negotiated outcome following the conclusion of the negotiations. It provides a general overview and a sectoral breakdown analysis of the outcome of the Agreement.

Such an assessment is available online(1) and foresees an increase of circa EUR 13 billion of EU exports to Japan, which would include considerable gains in sectors that do not always benefit the most from our trade policy, e.g. agriculture, beverages, textiles, apparel and leather products (all areas of key interest to Portugal).

(1)http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2018/july/tradoc_157116.pdf

Last updated: 12 October 2018Legal notice