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Parliamentary questions
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9 March 2015
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-001790/2015

The Union has exclusive competence in the area of common commercial policy. For this reason the Commission insists that Member States must refrain from bilateral trade arrangements as those would be incompatible with that rule.

The letter of 16 January 2015 referred to technical talks that took place in Berlin between DG SANTE and the Russian authorities. Those talks covered overall technical conditions for potential resumption of export of selected products, strictly based on an EU framework and valid EU certificates. During that meeting the Commission explicitly excluded bilateral agreements as unacceptable. Any solution that would enable the resumption of exports of banned products should apply to all EU Member States equally.

With regard to any arrangements made bilaterally between Russia and individual Member States, the latter are expected to adequately inform the Commission and other Member States in accordance with the duty of sincere cooperation enshrined in the TEU. The Commission is examining each case coming to its attention for compatibility with the EU rules and reacts accordingly.

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