Procedure : 2018/0091(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0366/2018

Texts tabled :

A8-0366/2018

Debates :

PV 11/12/2018 - 14
CRE 11/12/2018 - 14

Votes :

PV 12/12/2018 - 12.6
CRE 12/12/2018 - 12.6

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0504

RECOMMENDATION     ***
PDF 511kWORD 74k
9 November 2018
PE 627.597v02-00 A8-0366/2018

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and Japan for an Economic Partnership

(07964/2018 – C8-0382/2018 – 2018/0091(NLE))

Committee on International Trade

Rapporteur: Pedro Silva Pereira

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
 OPINION IN LETTER FORM OF THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
 PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and Japan for an Economic Partnership

(07964/2018 – C8-0382/2018 – 2018/0091(NLE))

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (07964/2018),

–  having regard to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and Japan (07965/2018),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 91, Article 100(2), the first subparagraph of Article 207(4), point (a)(v) of the second subparagraph of Article 218(6), and Article 218(7), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0382/2018),

–  having regard to its non-legislative resolution of ...(1) on the draft decision,

–  having regard to Rule 99(1) and (4) and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on International Trade and the opinion of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinion in letter form of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A8-0366/2018),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of Japan.

(1)

Texts adopted of that date, P8_TA(0000)0000.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The negotiations between the European Union (EU) and Japan for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), launched on 25 March 2013, were concluded on 8 December 2017. On 17 July 2018, the EU and Japan signed the EPA, as well as the Strategic Partnership Agreement, at the EU-Japan Summit in Tokyo.

The European Parliament set out its negotiation priorities in its October 2012 resolution. These priorities are reflected in the outcome of the negotiations. The European Parliament has been kept informed during the process and the International Trade Committee monitored closely the negotiations from their preparations until the signature of the final agreement. Following requests by the European Parliament, the Council made its negotiating mandate public in September 2017.

Negotiations for a separate investment protection agreement with Japan are still ongoing. The European Parliament will continue to follow these negotiations closely and has already made clear that the old, private investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism is unacceptable.

The EU-Japan EPA is of strategic importance. It is the most important bilateral trade agreement ever concluded by the EU, covering nearly a third of world gross domestic product (GDP), almost 40 percent of world trade and more than 600 million people.

During times of turbulence for the global trading order, this agreement represents a signal in support of rules-based, free and fair trade, while helping to promote the Union values and high standards.

The EU and Japan share fundamental values such as human rights, democracy and the rule of law as well as a strong commitment to sustainable development, multilateralism and a rules-based world trade system.

Japan is the world’s third largest consumer market but only the sixth trading partner of the Union. This agreement will strengthen the current bilateral trade and political relationship.

The 2016 Trade and Sustainable Impact Assessment estimates that the agreement would deliver positive impacts in terms of GDP, income, trade and employment for both the EU and Japan, adhering to the objective to create ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’.

The true benefits of an international agreement depend, nonetheless, on proper and full implementation of its provisions by all parties. Monitoring the implementation of the agreed commitments is, therefore, crucial.

Trade in Goods: The EU-Japan EPA will eliminate tariffs on more than 90% of the EU’s exports to Japan from its entry into force. Once the agreement is fully implemented, Japan will have scrapped customs duties on 97% of goods imported from the EU, with the remaining tariff lines being subject to partial liberalisation through tariff rate quotas or tariff reductions. For passenger cars, the EU will phase in an elimination of its 10% tariffs on cars over a period of seven years, while on tractors and buses the EU customs will be eliminated after 12 years. According to some estimates, the agreement will save EU exporters around 1 billion euros in customs duties per year.

Non-tariff measures (NTMs): The EU-Japan negotiations addressed many non-tariff measures, which have constituted an important concern for EU companies, in particular in the car sector, food additives, food labelling, cosmetics, medical devices and textiles labelling. Japan agreed to align its automotive standards even more with international standards (UNECE regulations) used by the EU car manufacturers. The agreement contains a safeguard clause for 10 years allowing the EU to reintroduce tariffs in case Japan stops applying UNECE regulations or reinstalls removed NTMs.

Agriculture and GIs: Tariff reductions are most substantial for the EU agricultural sector, while the agreement safeguards the most sensitive products. Wine, spirits and other alcoholic beverages will enter duty free from day one. High duties on hard cheese will be eliminated and duty-free tariff rate quota for fresh cheese will be established. For beef, tariffs will be progressively reduced (from 38.5% to 9% over 15 years). The EU will enjoy duty-free access for processed pork meat and almost duty-free trade for fresh pork meat. After a transition period, custom duties on processed agricultural goods such as pasta, chocolate and biscuits will be eliminated. The EPA also provides for protection of 205 European Geographical Indications, which is particularly important for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Public Procurement: Japan accepted to commit the procurement of 48 core cities (representing about 15% of Japan’s population) as well as many independent local administrative agencies (universities, hospitals and public energy companies). Japan also committed to remove the so-called ‘operational safety clause’, at the latest one year after the entry into force of the agreement, which so far has in practice prevented the EU rail suppliers to access the Japanese market. The agreement builds on the plurilateral Government Procurement Agreement and maximises transparency in tendering for public contracts.

Trade in Services: The agreement maintains the right of the EU Member States’ authorities to define, provide and regulate public services at national, regional or local level, despite its negative list approach. The EPA does not prevent governments from bringing any privatised service back in to the public sector. The agreement also preserves the sovereign right to regulate the financial and banking sectors for prudential and supervisory reasons. The liberalisation covers areas such as e-commerce, international maritime transport, postal services and telecommunications but audio-visual services are excluded. Moreover, the EPA establishes the temporary movement of professionals across borders (so-called mode 4), committing both sides to intra-corporate transfers in about 40 sectors and for independent professionals in about 20 sectors.

SMEs: This is the first time that a dedicated chapter for SMEs is included in an EU trade agreement. The chapter foresees a publicly accessible website and SME Contact Points, which will provide information relevant for small companies to access each other’s markets. 78 percent of EU companies exporting to Japan are SMEs.

Sustainable development: The EU-Japan EPA reaffirms both parties’ commitment to a broad range of multilateral agreements in the area of labour and environment, as well to the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Both parties also commit themselves to the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change and other multilateral environmental agreements, including agreements to conserve and sustainably manage natural resources (fisheries, biodiversity and forestry). The agreement provides, in particular, for enhanced cooperation in fighting illegal logging and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. While Japan, regrettably, has not yet ratified two International Labour Organisation (ILO) core conventions, the agreement contains commitments to pursue the ratification of all ILO core conventions. The chapter also recognises the right to regulate and includes a specific review clause that can and should be used to strengthen the enforceability and effectiveness of labour and environmental provisions.

Data flows: The EPA does not contain general provisions on data flows but a rendez-vous clause, whereby the parties will assess the issue of cross-border transfer of data within three years of the entry into force of the agreement.

Regulatory cooperation: The regulatory cooperation chapter is voluntary and respects each parties’ sovereign right to regulate its own levels of protection in pursuit of public policy objectives. The agreement also foresees the establishment of a financial regulatory forum to strengthen cooperation between the EU and Japan to enhance the stability and improve the global financial system. The regulatory cooperation chapter also clearly mentions that the principles established in the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU must be fully respected, which includes the precautionary principle.

Implementation and civil society: The agreement foresees a joint dialogue with civil society and sectorial committees, such as the Committee on Regulatory Cooperation, where the participation of civil society is also possible. As all other latest EU generation trade agreements, the EPA will create a domestic advisory group, ensuring involvement of the civil society in the implementation and monitoring of the sustainable development chapter.

Conclusion

The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement is of major strategic importance. The agreement represents a balanced and comprehensive outcome of significant economic value for the EU, its citizens and businesses. The agreement provides for new market opportunities, in particular for sectors, which are usually not the main beneficiaries of trade agreements (such as agriculture). There are a number of novelties in this EPA, such as the commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change and dedicated chapters on corporate governance and SMEs. The agreement also fully respects the right to regulate and protects public services. This agreement has the potential to contribute to generate sustainable growth and decent jobs while promoting the Union values and upholding high standards, in areas like food safety, environmental protection and labour rights.

Your rapporteur therefore recommends giving consent to this agreement.


OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (17.10.2018)

for the Committee on International Trade

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and Japan for an Economic Partnership

(07964/2018 - C8-0382/2018 – 2018/0091(NLE))

Rapporteur for opinion: Adina-Ioana Vălean

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety calls on the Committee on International Trade, as the committee responsible, to recommend that the Parliament give its consent to the proposed Council decision on the conclusion of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Japan.

PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Title

Council Decision on the conclusion of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Japan

References

07964/2018 – C8-0382/2018 – COM(2018)01922018/0091(NLE)

Committee responsible

 

INTA

 

 

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

ENVI

10.9.2018

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Adina-Ioana Vălean

17.10.2018

Previous rapporteur

Joëlle Mélin

Discussed in committee

29.8.2018

 

 

 

Date adopted

10.10.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

24

11

10

Members present for the final vote

Marco Affronte, Pilar Ayuso, Ivo Belet, Biljana Borzan, Lynn Boylan, Paul Brannen, Birgit Collin-Langen, Miriam Dalli, Seb Dance, José Inácio Faria, Francesc Gambús, Arne Gericke, Jens Gieseke, Julie Girling, Sylvie Goddyn, Françoise Grossetête, Jytte Guteland, György Hölvényi, Karin Kadenbach, Kateřina Konečná, Urszula Krupa, Peter Liese, Valentinas Mazuronis, Joëlle Mélin, Rory Palmer, Gilles Pargneaux, Bolesław G. Piecha, Julia Reid, Frédérique Ries, Michèle Rivasi, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Renate Sommer, Nils Torvalds, Adina-Ioana Vălean

Substitutes present for the final vote

Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Jørn Dohrmann, Eleonora Evi, Christophe Hansen, Norbert Lins, Tilly Metz, Younous Omarjee, Gabriele Preuß, Bart Staes

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Linnéa Engström, Kati Piri

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

24

+

ALDE

Valentinas Mazuronis, Frédérique Ries, Nils Torvalds

ECR

Jørn Dohrmann, Arne Gericke, Urszula Krupa, Bolesław G. Piecha

EFDD

Eleonora Evi

PPE

Pilar Ayuso, Ivo Belet, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Birgit Collin-Langen, José Inácio Faria, Francesc Gambús, Jens Gieseke, Julie Girling, Françoise Grossetête, Christophe Hansen, György Hölvényi, Peter Liese, Norbert Lins, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Renate Sommer, Adina-Ioana Vălean

11

-

EFDD

Julia Reid

ENF

Sylvie Goddyn, Joëlle Mélin

GUE/NGL

Lynn Boylan, Kateřina Konečná, Younous Omarjee

VERTS/ALE

Marco Affronte, Linnéa Engström, Tilly Metz, Michèle Rivasi, Bart Staes

10

0

S&D

Biljana Borzan, Paul Brannen, Miriam Dalli, Seb Dance, Jytte Guteland, Karin Kadenbach, Rory Palmer, Gilles Pargneaux, Kati Piri, Gabriele Preuß

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


OPINION IN LETTER FORM OF THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Mr Bernd Lange

Chair of the Committee on International Trade

ASP 12G205

IPOL-COM-AGRI D (2018) 42313

Dear Chair,

The Committee on International Trade has been authorised in accordance with Rule 99(2) of the Rules of Procedure to draw up a draft report containing a motion for a non-legislative resolution on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and Japan for an Economic Partnership (07964/2018 – C8-0382/2018 – 2018/0091M(NLE)).

During their meeting of 10 July 2018, AGRI Coordinators decided not to issue a formal opinion on this motion for a resolution, but to submit instead to the lead committee general considerations on the subject at hand in the form of this letter.

It resulted from consultations within our Committee that a large majority of AGRI Members is in favour of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Japan (“the Agreement”). In fact, all the available studies conclude that the EU agri-food sector would gain significantly from the Agreement.

The EU currently exports much more agricultural goods to Japan than vice versa, although the share of agricultural products in the overall EU exports to Japan is relatively small (5.4% in 2017). Japan’s agricultural markets being relatively protected (simple average applied most-favoured nation tariffs standing at 10.6% for animal products and 63.4% for dairy products), this share could however rise significantly as a consequence of the Agreement. The EU’s major food exports to Japan would benefit from important customs duties reductions, e.g. pork (4.3% to 0% over 10 years for high value cuts), wine (15% to 0% on entry into force), beef (38.5% to 9% over 15 years), pasta and chocolate (from up to 24% and up to 30% respectively to 0% over 10 years). For cheeses (currently between 30% and 40%), the Agreement would deliver complete liberalisation for hard cheeses and provide tariff rate quotas with duty free access for fresh, processed and soft cheeses.

Although some sensitive products (notably rice) are excluded from the Agreement, overall benefits for the agri-food sector arising from the reduction of tariffs and also non-tariff barriers (in particular the simplification of the approval and clearance procedures for sanitary and phytosanitary measures) are clearly positive.

Moreover, I would like to point out that AGRI Members are very satisfied with the high level of protection for European geographical indications that would be achieved under the Agreement (more than 200 EU foodstuffs and wines and spirits would be protected), which would greatly improve the chances of the EU producers concerned to sell these high-quality products on the Japanese market with its 127 million consumers.

Finally, we also see favourably the Agreement’s comprehensive section on the mutual facilitation of wine exports with a list of oenological practices to be approved by the EU and Japan in three phases.

I would be grateful if INTA could take the above ideas into account when preparing the draft report containing the motion for a non-legislative resolution and during the ensuing consent procedure.

Needless to say, I remain fully available should your rapporteur or yourself wish to hold further exchanges with us on this issue.

Yours sincerely,

Czesław Adam SIEKIERSKI


PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Title

Council Decision on the conclusion of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Japan

References

07964/2018 – C8-0382/2018 – COM(2018)01922018/0091(NLE)

Date of consultation / request for consent

18.7.2018

 

 

 

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

INTA

10.9.2018

 

 

 

Committees asked for opinions

       Date announced in plenary

ENVI

10.9.2018

TRAN

10.9.2018

AGRI

10.9.2018

 

Not delivering opinions

       Date of decision

TRAN

14.5.2018

 

 

 

Rapporteurs

       Date appointed

Pedro Silva Pereira

16.5.2018

 

 

 

Discussed in committee

29.8.2018

27.9.2018

 

 

Date adopted

5.11.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

10

1

Members present for the final vote

Maria Arena, Tiziana Beghin, David Borrelli, Salvatore Cicu, Christofer Fjellner, Eleonora Forenza, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, Christophe Hansen, Heidi Hautala, Nadja Hirsch, Yannick Jadot, France Jamet, Jude Kirton-Darling, Patricia Lalonde, Bernd Lange, David Martin, Emmanuel Maurel, Anne-Marie Mineur, Sorin Moisă, Alessia Maria Mosca, Franck Proust, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Tokia Saïfi, Helmut Scholz, Joachim Schuster, Adam Szejnfeld, Iuliu Winkler

Substitutes present for the final vote

Syed Kamall, Sajjad Karim, Sander Loones, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Jarosław Wałęsa

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Georges Bach, Norbert Lins

Date tabled

9.11.2018


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

25

+

ALDE

Nadja Hirsch, Patricia Lalonde, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells

ECR

Syed Kamall, Sajjad Karim, Sander Loones

EFDD

Tiziana Beghin

NI

David Borrelli

PPE

Georges Bach, Salvatore Cicu, Christofer Fjellner, Christophe Hansen, Norbert Lins, Sorin Moisă, Franck Proust, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Tokia Saïfi, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Adam Szejnfeld, Jarosław Wałęsa, Iuliu Winkler

S&D

Bernd Lange, David Martin, Alessia Maria Mosca, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández

10

-

ENF

France Jamet

GUE/NGL

Eleonora Forenza, Anne-Marie Mineur, Helmut Scholz

NI

Emmanuel Maurel,

S&D

Maria Arena, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, Joachim Schuster

VERTS/ALE

Heidi Hautala, Yannick Jadot

1

0

S&D

Jude Kirton-Darling

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

Last updated: 28 November 2018Legal notice