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International Agreements in Progress: The EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) - A framework to promote shared values

22-01-2019

The EU and Japan share the same basic values, including on democracy, market economy, human rights, human dignity, freedom, equality, and the rule of law. Against a background of increasingly assertive neighbours, they are also putting emphasis on security issues. The EU has adopted a Global Strategy placing security and defence as a key strategic priority, and conclusions on 'enhanced EU security cooperation in and with Asia'. Japan has reformed its security policy, aiming at becoming a 'proactive ...

The EU and Japan share the same basic values, including on democracy, market economy, human rights, human dignity, freedom, equality, and the rule of law. Against a background of increasingly assertive neighbours, they are also putting emphasis on security issues. The EU has adopted a Global Strategy placing security and defence as a key strategic priority, and conclusions on 'enhanced EU security cooperation in and with Asia'. Japan has reformed its security policy, aiming at becoming a 'proactive contributor for peace'. In order to enhance their relations, in July 2018 the EU and Japan signed a binding Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) – to come into force following ratfication by all Member States – along with an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), negotiated in parallel. The SPA represents a framework strengthening the overall partnership, by promoting political and sectoral cooperation and joint actions in more than 40 areas of common interest. Once in force, the EU-Japan strategic partnership will become more operational. The agreement will facilitate joint EU-Japan efforts to promote shared values such as human rights and rule of law, a rules-based international system, and peace and stability across the world. It will allow EU-Japan security cooperation to reach its full potential. Second edition. The 'International Agreements in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification.

Finding the right balance across EU FTAs: benefits and risks for EU economic sectors

17-10-2018

Globally, anti-trade sentiment is on the rise, meaning it is incumbent upon policymakers to explore and explain the benefits of free and open trade. This study examines the costs and benefits of various free trade agreements (FTAs) that the EU has completed, will complete, or is contemplating. With regard to completed FTAs, the EU has seen benefits in terms of consumer choice but has a much larger and positive impact on its partners (although not as much as ex-ante modelling would suggest). For forthcoming ...

Globally, anti-trade sentiment is on the rise, meaning it is incumbent upon policymakers to explore and explain the benefits of free and open trade. This study examines the costs and benefits of various free trade agreements (FTAs) that the EU has completed, will complete, or is contemplating. With regard to completed FTAs, the EU has seen benefits in terms of consumer choice but has a much larger and positive impact on its partners (although not as much as ex-ante modelling would suggest). For forthcoming or contemplated FTAs, the issue of non-tariff barriers must be considered for FTAs with developed economies to be a success, while comprehensive liberalisation with emerging markets improves trade and other outcomes for both the EU and its partner. Across all FTAs, trade and economic metrics are improved by an agreement while indirect effects (human rights, environment) are less likely to change. We conclude that the EU must continue its focus on comprehensive liberalisation, incorporating NTBs effectively into new agreements, while tempering expectations of influence on human rights.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

Christopher HARTWELL, Veronika MOVCHAN

The EU - Japan Economic Partnership Agreement

28-09-2018

This report independently assesses the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. We find that the EPA establishes an ambitious framework to further liberalise and better organise trade, covering goods, services, intellectual property and investment, tariff- and non-tariff measures, and regulatory cooperation. Given its depth and breadth, and that it is unprecedented in including provisions on corporate governance, SMEs, and climate change, the EPA is set to become a benchmark for future trade agreements ...

This report independently assesses the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. We find that the EPA establishes an ambitious framework to further liberalise and better organise trade, covering goods, services, intellectual property and investment, tariff- and non-tariff measures, and regulatory cooperation. Given its depth and breadth, and that it is unprecedented in including provisions on corporate governance, SMEs, and climate change, the EPA is set to become a benchmark for future trade agreements. Joining two open economies with high income levels and regulatory standards, the agreement is expected to generate benefits by boosting trade within sectors, minimising sectoral relocation and negative employment effects. Agri-food, textiles and leather products are where the EU can expect to make the greatest gains. Furthermore, the EPA will boost the EU’s economic presence and political relevance in the Asia-Pacific area. Going beyond its economic benefits, the agreement also has significant non-economic implications. Reinforced cooperation will enhance the ability of both parties to shape the course of global developments in a manner that better reflects their shared interests and values, such as their commitment to a rule-based global trade system and the fight against global warming.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

Sonali CHOWDHRY, Marie Curie Visiting Fellow; André SAPIR, Senior Fellow; Alessio TERZI, Affiliate Fellow

Russia [What Think Tanks are thinking]

21-09-2018

In September, Russia held its largest military exercise since 1981, the height of the Cold War, deploying 300 000 troops and also inviting Chinese forces to participate. The event highlighted Russia’s growing assertiveness in security and foreign policy, following its annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Syria. The policies of President Vladimir Putin, who was re-elected earlier this year, pose a dilemma for the European Union and the United States, with some observers accusing him of ...

In September, Russia held its largest military exercise since 1981, the height of the Cold War, deploying 300 000 troops and also inviting Chinese forces to participate. The event highlighted Russia’s growing assertiveness in security and foreign policy, following its annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Syria. The policies of President Vladimir Putin, who was re-elected earlier this year, pose a dilemma for the European Union and the United States, with some observers accusing him of trying to sabotage Western liberal democracy and others saying that he wants to regain the position of global player that the Soviet Union once occupied. This note offers links to commentaries and studies by major international think tanks, which discuss Russia's policies and how to respond to them. More reports on the topic can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking', published in March 2018. Some more papers on US-Russian relations are available in another edition from the series published in August 2018.

International Agreements in Progress - EU-Japan trade agreement: a driver for closer cooperation beyond trade

09-07-2018

Negotiations on an EU-Japan trade agreement were officially launched in March 2013. Following the political agreement in principle reached in July 2017, a final accord on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was announced in December 2017. On 18 April 2018, the European Commission proposed to the Council of the European Union to sign and conclude the agreement. The Commission expects that the EU-Japan EPA can be signed in July 2018, and aims to have the agreement come into effect before ...

Negotiations on an EU-Japan trade agreement were officially launched in March 2013. Following the political agreement in principle reached in July 2017, a final accord on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was announced in December 2017. On 18 April 2018, the European Commission proposed to the Council of the European Union to sign and conclude the agreement. The Commission expects that the EU-Japan EPA can be signed in July 2018, and aims to have the agreement come into effect before the end of its mandate in 2019, following approval by the Council and the European Parliament. The EU-Japan EPA will establish a free trade area with a combined market of around 640 million consumers that accounts for roughly a third of the world's gross domestic product (GDP). The 2016 Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment (Trade SIA) of the agreement indicated that EU exports to Japan could rise by up to 34 %, and according to a more recent Commission estimate, European companies would save up to €1 billion in customs duties per year as a result of the EU-Japan EPA. In addition to exploiting the untapped potential of bilateral trade, the agreement is also of strategic importance, conveying a strong message of the parties' commitment to promoting a free and fair trading system based on rules, and to reject trade protectionism. [Second] edition. The 'International Agreements in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification. To view earlier editions of this briefing, please see: PE 589.828, 7 october 2016.

Sustainability of Health Systems

15-06-2018

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of a workshop on sustainability of health systems, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday 15 May 2018. The aim of the workshop was to provide background to facilitate information exchange between health system experts and members of the ENVI Committee on the challenges and opportunities related to the sustainability of European health systems. The first part of the workshop focused on challenges to health system sustainability ...

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of a workshop on sustainability of health systems, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday 15 May 2018. The aim of the workshop was to provide background to facilitate information exchange between health system experts and members of the ENVI Committee on the challenges and opportunities related to the sustainability of European health systems. The first part of the workshop focused on challenges to health system sustainability. Presentations looked at the sociodemographic challenges such as the aging of the population and the social determinants of health, at the impact of new technologies and access to medicines, and at the emergence of genetic and precision medicine. The second part of the workshop brought together different experiences of health system sustainability, looking at how the health systems of Japan, the Netherlands and Andalusia have adapted and are adapting to challenges to their sustainability.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

Mr Matthew JONES, Ms Alessia VALENTINO, Dr Rosa CASTRO, Dr Meena FERNANDES, Ms Jennifer MCGUINN, Milieu Ltd, Brussels, Belgium

EU-Japan cooperation on global and regional security - a litmus test for the EU's role as a global player?

11-06-2018

Within their partnership, the EU and Japan recognise each other as being essentially civilian (or ‘soft’) powers that share the same values and act in the international arena solely with diplomatic means. However, the evolution of the threats they face and the unpredictability now shown by their strategic ally, the US, have led both the EU and Japan to reconsider the option of ‘soft power-only’ for ensuring their security. They have both begun the — albeit long —process of seeking greater strategic ...

Within their partnership, the EU and Japan recognise each other as being essentially civilian (or ‘soft’) powers that share the same values and act in the international arena solely with diplomatic means. However, the evolution of the threats they face and the unpredictability now shown by their strategic ally, the US, have led both the EU and Japan to reconsider the option of ‘soft power-only’ for ensuring their security. They have both begun the — albeit long —process of seeking greater strategic autonomy. The EU’s Global Strategy adopted in 2016 aims clearly to ‘develop a more politically rounded approach to Asia, seeking to make greater practical contributions to Asian security’. Like the EU, Japan has identified ‘a multipolar age’ in which the rules-based international order that has allowed it to prosper is increasingly threatened. In line with its security-related reforms, Japan has decided to ‘take greater responsibilities and roles than before in order to maintain the existing international order’ and resolve a number of global issues. The EU and Japan may increase their cooperation at the global and strategic level and in tackling these challenges at the regional or local level. The Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) between the EU and Japan will provide opportunities for such cooperation, which should also be open to others. This is an opportunity for the EU to demonstrate that it is a consistent and reliable partner, and a true ‘global player’. The Council Conclusions of 28 May 2018 on ‘Enhanced security cooperation in and with Asia’ are a step in this direction but need to be translated into action.

Trump, trade and tariffs [What Think Tanks are thinking]

16-03-2018

US President, Donald Trump, has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, raising fears of a trade war with other countries. He has argued that the levies, of 25 % on steel and 10 % on aluminium, are needed to protect US national security. But many analysts and politicians believe that they are actually meant to protect domestic producers and meet Trump's pre-election promise to return manufacturing jobs to the US. The European Union is seeking an exemption from the tariffs, which has already ...

US President, Donald Trump, has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, raising fears of a trade war with other countries. He has argued that the levies, of 25 % on steel and 10 % on aluminium, are needed to protect US national security. But many analysts and politicians believe that they are actually meant to protect domestic producers and meet Trump's pre-election promise to return manufacturing jobs to the US. The European Union is seeking an exemption from the tariffs, which has already been granted, in principle, to Canada and Mexico. If this does not happen, the EU could respond in several ways, including by imposing its own tariffs on US products. This note offers links to a series of recent commentaries and reports from major international think tanks and research institutes in reaction to Trump's decision. More reports on international trade can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are thinking' published in June 2017.

New US tariffs: Potential impact on the WTO

13-03-2018

On 8 March 2018, US President Donald Trump signed orders imposing tariffs of 25 % on steel imports and 10 % on aluminium imports. These tariffs will apply to all countries, except Canada and Mexico (and possibly also Australia). President Trump has expressed a willingness to discuss the measures with individual countries and make additional exceptions if US (security) concerns are addressed. The European Commission and other US trading partners have expressed their concern at the measures, fearing ...

On 8 March 2018, US President Donald Trump signed orders imposing tariffs of 25 % on steel imports and 10 % on aluminium imports. These tariffs will apply to all countries, except Canada and Mexico (and possibly also Australia). President Trump has expressed a willingness to discuss the measures with individual countries and make additional exceptions if US (security) concerns are addressed. The European Commission and other US trading partners have expressed their concern at the measures, fearing that they could lead to a wider trade dispute. The Trump administration's justification of the tariffs on national security grounds is also viewed as a threat to the multilateral trading system.

North Korean human rights abuses

22-02-2018

In February 2018, the world was exposed to cheerful images of Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, smiling and shaking hands with the South Korean president Moon Jae-in, and of North and South Koreans marching together under the same flag, while an all-female squad of cheerleaders dressed in red occasionally upstaged the athletes at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Against this charm offensive, a few dozen kilometres north, far from the spotlight, up to 120 000 political prisoners continued experiencing ...

In February 2018, the world was exposed to cheerful images of Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, smiling and shaking hands with the South Korean president Moon Jae-in, and of North and South Koreans marching together under the same flag, while an all-female squad of cheerleaders dressed in red occasionally upstaged the athletes at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Against this charm offensive, a few dozen kilometres north, far from the spotlight, up to 120 000 political prisoners continued experiencing atrocities in inhumane political prison camps, known as kwanliso.

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