550

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Current and Emerging Trends in Disruptive Technologies: Implications for the Present and Future of EU’s Trade Policy

20-09-2017

Digital technologies, taken as a broad generic category of technological inventions and applications, fall under a rare kind of ‘disruptive technologies’ that can radically change existing economic sectors, enable new modes of work, production and consumption and trigger broader societal transformations. To make apt policy decisions, there is a distinct need to understand what these technologies and their effects actually are and how they may develop over time. This study attends to this need in ...

Digital technologies, taken as a broad generic category of technological inventions and applications, fall under a rare kind of ‘disruptive technologies’ that can radically change existing economic sectors, enable new modes of work, production and consumption and trigger broader societal transformations. To make apt policy decisions, there is a distinct need to understand what these technologies and their effects actually are and how they may develop over time. This study attends to this need in particular with regard to the implications of digital technologies for EU’s external trade policies. It accentuates the critical importance of data and cross-border data flows for the emergent digital economy and underscores the need to appropriately address them with a calibrated and more proactive positioning of the EU in international trade venues.

External author

Mira BURRI, senior lecturer, University of Lucerne, Switzerland

South Korea: Economic indicators and trade with EU

18-09-2017

South Korea is one of the top countries in terms of doing business and holds a good score within the Human Development Index. Meanwhile its economy has slowed in recent years and female labour market participation remains lower than most OECD countries, with little progress. Trade with the EU has benefitted from 2011 bilateral Free Trade Agreement, namely making a boost in EU's exports to South Korea.

South Korea is one of the top countries in terms of doing business and holds a good score within the Human Development Index. Meanwhile its economy has slowed in recent years and female labour market participation remains lower than most OECD countries, with little progress. Trade with the EU has benefitted from 2011 bilateral Free Trade Agreement, namely making a boost in EU's exports to South Korea.

International Agreements in Progress: Economic Partnership Agreement with the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

13-09-2017

In line with the objective of the Cotonou Agreement to establish a World Trade Organization-compatible trade regime with ACP countries, in 2002 the EU started negotiations on free trade agreements with different ACP regional configurations. One of these is the SADC EPA Group – of southern African countries, including South Africa. The negotiations were long but the final outcome is a compromise that has been accepted by all parties, with the exception of Angola which did not endorse the Economic ...

In line with the objective of the Cotonou Agreement to establish a World Trade Organization-compatible trade regime with ACP countries, in 2002 the EU started negotiations on free trade agreements with different ACP regional configurations. One of these is the SADC EPA Group – of southern African countries, including South Africa. The negotiations were long but the final outcome is a compromise that has been accepted by all parties, with the exception of Angola which did not endorse the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), but has an option to join in the future. The Agreement establishes an asymmetric free trade area, taking into account the disparities in the level of development between the EU and its African partners, which can shield sensitive products from EU competition. It emphasises sustainable development as an overarching objective, includes important safeguards in order to protect sensitive sectors from sudden surges in trade, and gives African countries the possibility to preserve their policy space in order to industrialise. The Agreement was signed in June 2016 and entered into provisional application on 10 October 2016, after being ratified by five of the six African countries and the European Parliament. It is now in the process of ratification by EU national parliaments. 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 586.661, 7 September 2016.

International Agreements in Progress: Modernisation of the trade pillar of the EU-Mexico Global Agreement

12-09-2017

Trade relations between the EU and Mexico are currently governed by the trade pillar of the 1997 EU-Mexico Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement (the 'Global Agreement'). Although the current framework for trade relations has functioned adequately, the agreement's trade pillar does not cover new trade issues that have gained in importance in the past two decades, nor does it reflect more recent political and economic developments in the EU and Mexico. The two parties ...

Trade relations between the EU and Mexico are currently governed by the trade pillar of the 1997 EU-Mexico Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement (the 'Global Agreement'). Although the current framework for trade relations has functioned adequately, the agreement's trade pillar does not cover new trade issues that have gained in importance in the past two decades, nor does it reflect more recent political and economic developments in the EU and Mexico. The two parties have for this reason been working on modernising the Global Agreement's trade pillar since 2013, in order to adapt it to the new realities of global trade, geopolitics and investment policies. Through this modernisation, the EU and Mexico are seeking to unlock unfulfilled bilateral trade and investment potential by achieving the highest possible level of liberalisation while also securing better rules for all. Since June 2016, four rounds of negotiations have taken place in which a wide range of topics have been discussed. In the second half of 2017, the pace of negotiations is set to accelerate as both parties are eager to reach an agreement before the end of the year.

Global Trendometer: Essays on medium- and long-term global trends - Summer 2017

06-09-2017

With the publication of the "Global Trendometer" the EPRS Global Trends Unit seeks to contribute to the process of identifying and addressing medium- and long-term trends, and their possible implications for policy-making in the European Union. In this latest edition, three essays and seven two-page vignettes on different geopolitical, economic, technological and social issues paint a broad-ranging picture of some developments that may shape Europe’s future.

With the publication of the "Global Trendometer" the EPRS Global Trends Unit seeks to contribute to the process of identifying and addressing medium- and long-term trends, and their possible implications for policy-making in the European Union. In this latest edition, three essays and seven two-page vignettes on different geopolitical, economic, technological and social issues paint a broad-ranging picture of some developments that may shape Europe’s future.

Modernising EU-Chile trade relations

05-09-2017

Currently, EU-Chile relations are governed by the 2002 EU-Chile Association Agreement (AA). The EU would like to modernise the AA's trade pillar to keep pace with new global trade patterns and the ambitious provisions of more recent trade agreements. During the September plenary, the European Parliament is expected to adopt recommendations on the future negotiations on this modernisation. It is also asked to give its consent to the conclusion of a separate EU-Chile agreement on trade in organic products ...

Currently, EU-Chile relations are governed by the 2002 EU-Chile Association Agreement (AA). The EU would like to modernise the AA's trade pillar to keep pace with new global trade patterns and the ambitious provisions of more recent trade agreements. During the September plenary, the European Parliament is expected to adopt recommendations on the future negotiations on this modernisation. It is also asked to give its consent to the conclusion of a separate EU-Chile agreement on trade in organic products and the AA's third additional protocol to take account of Croatia's EU accession.

The EU-Latin American Strategic Partnership: state of play and ways forward

30-08-2017

By looking at the current social, economic and political trends in Latin America and the Caribbean and at recent developments in the EU’s relation with the region, this study explores windows of opportunity for advancing the EU-Latin American strategic partnership. It is argued that, although asymmetries between Europe and Latin America might impact and diminish the bi-regional relationship, the EU is well-positioned to play a more active role in Latin America by strengthening existing institutional ...

By looking at the current social, economic and political trends in Latin America and the Caribbean and at recent developments in the EU’s relation with the region, this study explores windows of opportunity for advancing the EU-Latin American strategic partnership. It is argued that, although asymmetries between Europe and Latin America might impact and diminish the bi-regional relationship, the EU is well-positioned to play a more active role in Latin America by strengthening existing institutional links, such as the strategic bi-regional partnership between the EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Euro-Latin America Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat). The study concludes with tailor-made recommendations in order to advance the EU’s engagement and cooperation with individual Latin American countries and with the region as a whole, both through traditional cooperative channels and through closer parliamentary links within the framework of EuroLat.

External author

Gustavo G. MÜLLER (Senior Researcher, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven, Belgium); Jan WOUTERS (Professor and Director, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven, Belgium); Jean-Christophe DEFRAIGNE (Professor, Institute for European Studies, University Saint-Louis Brussels, Belgium); Sebastian SANTANDER (Professor, Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Liege, Belgium); Kolja RAUBE (Senior Researcher, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven, Belgium)

Review of dual-use export controls

24-07-2017

Certain goods and technologies have legitimate civilian applications but can also be used for the development of weapons of mass-destruction, terrorist acts and human rights violations; these so-called ‘dual-use’ goods are subject to the European Union’s export control regime. The regime is now being revised, mainly to take account of significant technological developments and to create a more level playing field among EU Member States. The proposed regulation recasts the regulation in force since ...

Certain goods and technologies have legitimate civilian applications but can also be used for the development of weapons of mass-destruction, terrorist acts and human rights violations; these so-called ‘dual-use’ goods are subject to the European Union’s export control regime. The regime is now being revised, mainly to take account of significant technological developments and to create a more level playing field among EU Member States. The proposed regulation recasts the regulation in force since 2009. Among other elements, the proposal introduces a controversial new ‘human security’ dimension to export controls, to prevent the abuse of certain cyber-surveillance technologies by regimes with a questionable human rights record. Stakeholders are divided over the incorporation of human rights considerations, with the technology industry particularly concerned that it might lose out to non-European competitors. The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission issued a joint statement on the review of the dual-use export control system in 2014 and the European Parliament has since adopted several resolutions related to the issue. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

EU-Cuba relations: a new chapter begins

18-07-2017

The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the EU and Cuba, endorsed by the European Parliament (EP) on 5 July 2017, opens a new phase in EU-Cuba relations. Until now Cuba was the only country in Latin America without a cooperation or political dialogue agreement with the EU. The PDCA creates a framework for political dialogue and closer bilateral cooperation, including in trade. The parts of the agreement (mostly related to cooperation and trade issues) that fall within EU competence ...

The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the EU and Cuba, endorsed by the European Parliament (EP) on 5 July 2017, opens a new phase in EU-Cuba relations. Until now Cuba was the only country in Latin America without a cooperation or political dialogue agreement with the EU. The PDCA creates a framework for political dialogue and closer bilateral cooperation, including in trade. The parts of the agreement (mostly related to cooperation and trade issues) that fall within EU competence can already be applied provisionally, but the agreement will only enter into force in full after it has been ratified in all the EU Member States. Since negotiations on the PDCA began in 2014, Cuba’s relations with the EU and individual Member States have intensified considerably. For the EU, the PDCA is a tool for supporting a process of change and modernisation in Cuba, while for Cuba it represents the ‘normalisation’ of the relationship with an important economic and trade partner and helps it to diversify its external relations. Parliament will focus, in monitoring the implementation of the PDCA, on two areas of particular concern to the EP: human rights and civil liberties on Cuba, and the role of Cuban civil society.

International Agreements in Progress: EU-Japan free trade agreement within reach

14-07-2017

Negotiations on an EU-Japan free trade agreement (FTA) were officially launched in March 2013. Following 18 rounds of negotiations and a number of meetings at the technical and political levels, a political agreement in principle was reached during the 24th EU-Japan Summit in Brussels, on 6 July 2017. Negotiations on the outstanding issues that were left on the table will continue, with the aim of finalising the text of the agreement by the end of 2017. The deal with Japan, the EU's second largest ...

Negotiations on an EU-Japan free trade agreement (FTA) were officially launched in March 2013. Following 18 rounds of negotiations and a number of meetings at the technical and political levels, a political agreement in principle was reached during the 24th EU-Japan Summit in Brussels, on 6 July 2017. Negotiations on the outstanding issues that were left on the table will continue, with the aim of finalising the text of the agreement by the end of 2017. The deal with Japan, the EU's second largest trading partner in Asia, will enhance trade and investment relationships between the two parties. European companies, in the agri-food sector for instance, will benefit from improved access to the Japanese market, mainly through the reduction both of tariffs on specific goods as well as existing regulatory and non-tariff barriers. The 2016 trade sustainability impact assessment for the EU-Japan FTA indicated that the EU-Japan FTA and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement, involving the EU and the USA, would result in similar levels of economic gains for Europe. According to recent Commission estimates, European companies will save up to €1 billion in customs duties per year as a result of the EU-Japan FTA. Moreover, the value of EU goods and services exports could rise by up to €20 billion. This briefing is an update of an earlier version, of October 2016: PE 589.828.

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25-09-2017
Policy Hub | EU policy on the ICC and combating extreme nationalism
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25-09-2017
Hearing on LGBTI Rights outside the EU and implementation of EU Guidelines
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25-09-2017
Hearing: Evaluating drug policies and state of play in the EU legislation
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