607

result(s)

Word(s)
Publication type
Author
Keyword
Date

EU aid for trade: Taking stock and looking forward

17-04-2018

Representing a third of global official development aid flows annually, aid for trade (AfT) has been on the rise. AfT has a very broad scope that includes projects ranging from building roads and modernising ports, to developing the banking sector, helping local food producers to comply with phytosanitary standards and providing more specific trade-related assistance, such as technical support in trade negotiations. Today, more than a decade after the launch in 2006 of the World Trade Organization's ...

Representing a third of global official development aid flows annually, aid for trade (AfT) has been on the rise. AfT has a very broad scope that includes projects ranging from building roads and modernising ports, to developing the banking sector, helping local food producers to comply with phytosanitary standards and providing more specific trade-related assistance, such as technical support in trade negotiations. Today, more than a decade after the launch in 2006 of the World Trade Organization's AfT initiative, which established a common framework for action, most commentators agree that AfT investments have helped developing – especially Asian – countries, to improve and diversify their export and trade performance. However, its impact on poverty reduction has been much less clear. The evaluation of AfT is done in a fragmented manner, which makes the exercise quite tricky, leaving space for very divergent opinions. The EU is a world leader in AfT, both in terms of volume and in policy formulation. Adopted in 2007, the EU Aid for trade strategy helped to link the Union's development and trade agendas, often perceived as incompatible, and complemented the EU's preferential trade schemes for developing countries. The 2017 strategy update, after the introduction of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals and the new European consensus on development, was an opportunity to consider the future direction of AfT and reflect on its effectiveness. The EU reaffirmed its commitments to AfT, while putting more emphasis on bridging the digital gap, empowering women and improving the situation of the least developed countries in global trade systems.

International Agreements in Progress: Economic Partnership Agreement with the East African Community

16-04-2018

The current ACP-EU Partnership Agreement (the 'Cotonou Partnership Agreement') features a provision making it possible for the EU to negotiate different economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with regional ACP sub-groups. This provision was needed for the partnership to be brought into compliance with the World Trade Organization's rules. Negotiations for an EPA with the members of the East African Community (EAC) – at the time: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda – were finalised in October ...

The current ACP-EU Partnership Agreement (the 'Cotonou Partnership Agreement') features a provision making it possible for the EU to negotiate different economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with regional ACP sub-groups. This provision was needed for the partnership to be brought into compliance with the World Trade Organization's rules. Negotiations for an EPA with the members of the East African Community (EAC) – at the time: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda – were finalised in October 2014. South Sudan, which joined the EAC in 2016, did not take part in the negotiations, but can join the agreement once it comes into force. Once it enters into force, the EU-EAC EPA will provide immediate duty-free, quota-free access to the EU market for all EAC exports, combined with partial and gradual opening of the EAC market to imports from the EU. The EPA contains detailed provisions on sustainable agriculture and fisheries, rules of origin, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures. The parties are committed to concluding additional negotiations within five years of the entry into force of the agreement. The signing of the EPA has been stalled because of discussions within the EAC. Kenya is the only EAC country to have ratified the agreement, in order not to lose free access to the EU market. Other EAC member states, being least developed countries, still enjoy free access and some of them have pushed for further clarifications on the consequences of the EPA for their economies before the EAC endorses the agreement. First edition. The 'International Agreements in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification.

Competition in Air Transport

16-04-2018

Competition in the aviation sector pertains to different sets of rules, competition law on the one hand and, given the cross-border interdependencies of transport markets, international rules on the other hand. The workshop aimed to examine the current situation of competition in air transport using the proposed regulation on Safeguarding competition in air transport, repealing Regulation (EC) No 868/2004 as a practical example and starting point for the discussion. The Committee on Economic and ...

Competition in the aviation sector pertains to different sets of rules, competition law on the one hand and, given the cross-border interdependencies of transport markets, international rules on the other hand. The workshop aimed to examine the current situation of competition in air transport using the proposed regulation on Safeguarding competition in air transport, repealing Regulation (EC) No 868/2004 as a practical example and starting point for the discussion. The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) has prepared a legislative opinion to this dossier. This Workshop was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

External author

Kay MITUSCH, Universit Karlsruhe, Pablo MENDES DE LEON, University Leiden and Internationa Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

From Rome to Sibiu

12-04-2018

The purpose of this paper is to assess the follow-up and delivery by the European Council on the priorities that were set in the declaration adopted in Rome on 25 March 2017 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. The analysis shows that in the year since Rome, and a year before the special summit on the Future of Europe debate, due to take place in the Romanian city of Sibiu on 9 May 2019, substantive progress has been made regarding the debate itself and implementation ...

The purpose of this paper is to assess the follow-up and delivery by the European Council on the priorities that were set in the declaration adopted in Rome on 25 March 2017 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. The analysis shows that in the year since Rome, and a year before the special summit on the Future of Europe debate, due to take place in the Romanian city of Sibiu on 9 May 2019, substantive progress has been made regarding the debate itself and implementation of the policy priorities identified in the Bratislava Declaration/Roadmap and the Rome Declaration. The evidence so far suggests that the European Council, as well as the other EU institutions, have followed up on the pledges made in Rome, in an effort to boost the legitimacy of the EU, connect with a disaffected public, and combat Euroscepticism. The Leaders' Agenda, adopted by October 2017, made an important contribution to the Future of Europe debate and, furthermore, was a potentially far-reaching institutional innovation for the European Council. Under the Leaders' Agenda, discussions among the Heads of State or Government now attempt to resolve seemingly intractable policy disputes by means of a new working method. Not only has this helped to operationalise the Rome Declaration, it also seems to have consolidated the European Council's position at the centre of the EU policy-making and agenda-setting framework.

Outcome of the EU leaders' meetings on 22 and 23 March 2018

09-04-2018

On 22 and 23 March 2018, the EU Heads of State or Government convened in four different formations with varying compositions and levels of formality: a regular meeting of the European Council, a Leaders' Meeting on taxation, a Euro Summit and a European Council (Article 50) meeting. While economic and competitiveness issues featured, as is traditional, on the agenda of this spring European Council, the discussions focused largely on trade, the Salisbury attack, Turkey and Brexit. The informal leaders ...

On 22 and 23 March 2018, the EU Heads of State or Government convened in four different formations with varying compositions and levels of formality: a regular meeting of the European Council, a Leaders' Meeting on taxation, a Euro Summit and a European Council (Article 50) meeting. While economic and competitiveness issues featured, as is traditional, on the agenda of this spring European Council, the discussions focused largely on trade, the Salisbury attack, Turkey and Brexit. The informal leaders' meeting on tax considered ways of adapting European taxation systems to the digital economy and of strengthening the fight against tax evasion and avoidance. At the European Council (Article 50) meeting, the EU-27 Heads of State or Government considered the framework and adopted guidelines for post-Brexit relations with the UK. They also welcomed the agreement reached by the negotiators on parts of the legal text of the Withdrawal Agreement, including the transition period. While there were no formal conclusions at the Euro Summit meeting, participants discussed the long-term development of Economic and Monetary Union and agreed to take relevant decisions in June 2018.

Workshop "Anti-corruption provisions in EU free trade and investment agreements: Delivering on clean trade"

28-03-2018

International trade agreements have the potential to help breaking the vicious circle of corruption in economies based on privileged connections rather than fair competition. They increase competition in the removal of tariffs and so diminish the power of rentier companies which influence domestic regulation in their favour. They also contribute to a fairer business environment through their transparency provisions. Trade openness, red tape reduction and fiscal transparency, especially transparency ...

International trade agreements have the potential to help breaking the vicious circle of corruption in economies based on privileged connections rather than fair competition. They increase competition in the removal of tariffs and so diminish the power of rentier companies which influence domestic regulation in their favour. They also contribute to a fairer business environment through their transparency provisions. Trade openness, red tape reduction and fiscal transparency, especially transparency of procurement, play positive roles in widening control of corruption. They can be more easily influenced by external actors than the other important control of corruption factors: judicial independence, freedom of the press or the demand from civil society for good governance. This study ordered by the INTA Committee argues that indirect good governance policies which increase competition and subvert power and economic monopolies or quasi monopolies are far more effective than direct anticorruption policies, which in relying on domestic implementation tend to fall into the vicious circle again. The study presents options characterised as an ‘economist’s approach’ with an apparently more modest but effective good governance package, a ‘lawyer’s’ approach’ with firm anticorruption language but unenforceable provisions even in EU countries (on bribery, for instance), and a ‘holistic’ approach where the EU would coordinate across international trade, promotion of norms and development aid. The three options may be used alternatively, depending on the degree of development and quality of governance of the trading partner. The study was presented at a workshop of the INTA committee on 24 January 2018.

External author

Alina MUNGIU-PIPPIDI

Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders on 22-23 March 2018

21-03-2018

On 22 and 23 March 2018, the EU Heads of State or Government will convene in four different formations with varying compositions and levels of formality: a regular meeting of the European Council, a Leaders’ meeting on taxation, a Euro Summit and a European Council (Article 50) meeting. The agenda of the formal European Council includes single market issues, the European semester, social policy and international trade relations. Following the recent announcements by the US administration on trade ...

On 22 and 23 March 2018, the EU Heads of State or Government will convene in four different formations with varying compositions and levels of formality: a regular meeting of the European Council, a Leaders’ meeting on taxation, a Euro Summit and a European Council (Article 50) meeting. The agenda of the formal European Council includes single market issues, the European semester, social policy and international trade relations. Following the recent announcements by the US administration on trade matters, the latter issue is likely to take a more prominent place than originally expected. The informal Leaders’ meeting will focus exclusively on taxation, in particular in the digital economy, whilst the Euro Summit will discuss further developments in the euro area, banking union and the gradual completion of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). At the European Council (Article 50) meeting, EU-27 leaders are due to adopt guidelines for the framework for the future relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom (UK).

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.

Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Singapore – Analysis

16-03-2018

This study analyses provisions of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement concluded in May 2015 ('EUSFTA'). It compares EUSFTA with other 'new-generation' free trade agreements, such as the EU-Republic of Korea and the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Overall, EUSFTA adopts a WTO+ approach and as a result significantly liberalises trade between the EU and Singapore compared to the current trade relationship. The study finds that a number of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade ...

This study analyses provisions of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement concluded in May 2015 ('EUSFTA'). It compares EUSFTA with other 'new-generation' free trade agreements, such as the EU-Republic of Korea and the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Overall, EUSFTA adopts a WTO+ approach and as a result significantly liberalises trade between the EU and Singapore compared to the current trade relationship. The study finds that a number of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade in goods and services that currently exist between the parties will be reduced or removed on EUSFTA's entry into force. EUSFTA, as with other 'new-generation' FTAs negotiated by the EU, adopts a comprehensive approach, and contains innovative provisions on investment, intellectual property rights, competition and public procurement. It also contains provisions which reflect growing concerns about the impact of global trade, such as those on trade and sustainable development. With regard to EUSFTA's potential impact on trade, the economic modelling estimates an increase of around 10 % in trade volumes and greater volumes of foreign direct investment between the EU and Singapore as a result of the agreement. It also concludes that EUSFTA should lead to small increases of the gross domestic products of the EU and Singapore (0.06 % and 0.35 %, respectively). The responses of a wide-range of EU and Singaporean stakeholder consultation reveal that, in general, EUSFTA is viewed positively and is considered a very ambitious agreement, which will offer new opportunities for trade and investment in the EU and Singapore. However, some concerns have been raised, especially by small and medium-sized enterprises. The implications of the result of the Opinion of the Court of Justice of the EU in case 2/15 of 2017, on whether the EU had exclusive competence to sign and conclude EUSFTA alone, is also analysed in detail. The study recommends, notably, monitoring closely that commitments taken under sustainable development provisions are implemented and used effectively in practice.

External author

Eirini ROUSSOU, Associate Holman Fenwick Willan

Future trade relations between the EU and the UK: Options after Brexit

16-03-2018

This study analyses the various options for the future trade relations between the EU and the UK, after Brexit. It examines the various models against the canvas of two distinct paradigms: market integration and trade liberalization. It finds that an intermediate model, which would allow for continued convergence and mutual recognition in some sectors/freedoms, but not others, is unavailable and cannot easily be constructed for legal, institutional, and political reasons. The stark choice is between ...

This study analyses the various options for the future trade relations between the EU and the UK, after Brexit. It examines the various models against the canvas of two distinct paradigms: market integration and trade liberalization. It finds that an intermediate model, which would allow for continued convergence and mutual recognition in some sectors/freedoms, but not others, is unavailable and cannot easily be constructed for legal, institutional, and political reasons. The stark choice is between a customs union/free trade agreement, or continued internal market membership through the EEA or an equivalent agreement. The study further analyses the effects of Brexit on the UK’s continued participation in the trade agreements concluded by the EU. Notwithstanding a range of complexities, the study finds that such continued participation is not automatic but subject to negotiation.

External author

Piet Eeckhout

Upcoming events

24-04-2018
Preventing and Countering Radicalisation
Hearing -
TERR
24-04-2018
Outlook for the US mid-term elections: Where next for American politics?
Other event -
EPRS
24-04-2018
CAP post-2020 - the future of food and farming: interparliamentary committee meeting
Other event -
AGRI

Partners

Stay connected

email update imageEmail updates system

You can follow anyone or anything linked to the Parliament using the email updates system, which sends updates directly to your mailbox. This includes the latest news about MEPs, committees, the news services or the Think Tank.

You can access the system from any page on the Parliament website. To sign up and receive notifications on Think Tank, simply submit your email address, select the subject you are interested in, indicate how often you want to be informed (daily, weekly or monthly) and confirm the registration by clicking on the link that will be emailed to you.

RSS imageRSS feeds

Follow all news and updates from the European Parliament website by making use of our RSS feed.

Please click on the link below to configure your RSS feed.

widget imageRSS widgets

Please click on the button below to add a widget covering publications available via the Think Tank to your website.

Create a RSS widget