524

result(s)

Word(s)
Publication type
Author
Keyword
Date

CJEU Opinion on the EU-Singapore Agreement

29-05-2017

In 2015, the European Commission requested the opinion of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) on the competence for conclusion of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA). The CJEU issued its opinion on 16 May 2017, holding that the EUSFTA covers shared competences with respect to: (i) non-direct foreign investment, (ii) investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), and (iii) state-to-state dispute settlement relating to provisions regarding portfolio investment and ISDS. In its current form, ...

In 2015, the European Commission requested the opinion of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) on the competence for conclusion of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA). The CJEU issued its opinion on 16 May 2017, holding that the EUSFTA covers shared competences with respect to: (i) non-direct foreign investment, (ii) investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), and (iii) state-to-state dispute settlement relating to provisions regarding portfolio investment and ISDS. In its current form, therefore, the agreement would need to be concluded as a ‘mixed agreement’.

From TPP to new trade arrangements in the Asia-Pacific region

24-05-2017

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), signed in February 2016 by the representatives of its 12 member countries, is a comprehensive regional agreement dealing with a wide range of trade and trade-related issues. In January 2017, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP, making it impossible for the agreement, as it is currently drafted, to take effect. Despite the US withdrawal, the remaining TPP participating countries are determined to salvage the benefits of the agreement, ...

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), signed in February 2016 by the representatives of its 12 member countries, is a comprehensive regional agreement dealing with a wide range of trade and trade-related issues. In January 2017, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP, making it impossible for the agreement, as it is currently drafted, to take effect. Despite the US withdrawal, the remaining TPP participating countries are determined to salvage the benefits of the agreement, and are working to develop alternative approaches to bring the trade deal into force. The failure of the TPP is likely to influence the way that other economic and trade cooperation initiatives, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), will develop in the Asia-Pacific region. The US withdrawal also represents an opportunity for the EU, which is strongly committed to a robust trade policy and an open trading system, to advance its interests in the region. The EU is currently working on or has already concluded bilateral trade agreements with almost all TPP member countries.

Multilateralism in international trade: WTO achievements and challenges

10-05-2017

Multilateralism has been at the core of global trade governance since the end of World War II. The multilateral trading system, first under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and subsequently in the World Trade Organization (WTO), has managed to increasingly integrate countries’ economies over time and tempered unilateral approaches to international trade. The WTO also has an effective Dispute Settlement System and has recently shown that it can deliver multilateral results, namely ...

Multilateralism has been at the core of global trade governance since the end of World War II. The multilateral trading system, first under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and subsequently in the World Trade Organization (WTO), has managed to increasingly integrate countries’ economies over time and tempered unilateral approaches to international trade. The WTO also has an effective Dispute Settlement System and has recently shown that it can deliver multilateral results, namely the 2013 Trade Facilitation Agreement and the 2015 Nairobi Package. The WTO, however, has failed to conclude the 2001 Doha Development Round of trade negotiations and has been unable to address new trade issues that have arisen since its creation in 1995. This has led many countries to pursue bilateral, regional and plurilateral trade agreements outside the multilateral framework. The worldwide rise of protectionism also threatens the WTO’s objective of free trade. This is exemplified by the election as United States President of Donald Trump, who has called the WTO ‘a disaster’ and whose policies could severely undermine WTO legitimacy. The EU nevertheless continues to strongly support the multilateral trading system, as it benefits from the WTO’s rules-based system that supports free trade. At the same time, the EU views bilateral, regional and plurilateral agreements as complementary approaches to the WTO and is thus actively pursuing agreements along both avenues. Finally, the EU is also actively involved in settling disputes before the WTO, including with the USA. The European Parliament has expressed its support for this approach.

EU flagship initiative on the garment sector

21-04-2017

After the 2013 Rana Plaza garment factory tragedy in Bangladesh, the European Commission pledged to table an EU-wide flagship initiative to boost responsible management of the garment industry. To date, this initiative has yet to be launched. A motion for a Parliament resolution, due to be voted at the April II part-session, calls on the Commission to put forward a legislative proposal and focuses, among other things, on introducing mandatory due diligence for the supply chains in the industry.

After the 2013 Rana Plaza garment factory tragedy in Bangladesh, the European Commission pledged to table an EU-wide flagship initiative to boost responsible management of the garment industry. To date, this initiative has yet to be launched. A motion for a Parliament resolution, due to be voted at the April II part-session, calls on the Commission to put forward a legislative proposal and focuses, among other things, on introducing mandatory due diligence for the supply chains in the industry.

Eurasian Economic Union: The rocky road to integration

20-04-2017

Since the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, various attempts have been made to re-integrate the economies of its former republics. However, little progress was made until Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan launched a Customs Union in 2010. In 2015, this was upgraded to a Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Modelled in part on the EU, this bloc aims to create an EU-style Eurasian internal market, with free movement of goods, services, persons and capital. So far, the EEU's performance has been poor. Trade ...

Since the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, various attempts have been made to re-integrate the economies of its former republics. However, little progress was made until Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan launched a Customs Union in 2010. In 2015, this was upgraded to a Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Modelled in part on the EU, this bloc aims to create an EU-style Eurasian internal market, with free movement of goods, services, persons and capital. So far, the EEU's performance has been poor. Trade has slumped; this has more to do with Russia's economic downturn than the effects of economic integration, but there are signs that the new bloc is favouring protectionism over openness to global trade, which in the long term could harm competitiveness. Especially following the showdown between the EU and Russia over Ukraine, the EEU is widely seen in the West as a geopolitical instrument to consolidate Russia's post-Soviet sphere of influence. Fear of Russian domination and trade disputes between EEU member states are hindering progress towards the EEU's economic objectives. However, prospects may improve when Russia comes out of recession. The EEU is developing relations with third countries, such as Vietnam, which in 2015 became the first to sign a free-trade agreement with the bloc. For its part, the EU has declined to recognise the EEU as a legitimate partner until Russia meets its commitments under the Minsk agreements to help end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Tax evasion, money laundering and tax transparency in the EU Overseas Countries and Territories: Ex-Post Impact Assessment

20-04-2017

This study aims to present the legal, political and institutional framework governing offshore practices in the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) of the European Union, which are under the sovereignty of four Member States: Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The institutional arrangements of the OCTs with the relevant EU Member States directly affect the possibility to establish policies and adopt regulations, including on taxation and money laundering. Regardless of ...

This study aims to present the legal, political and institutional framework governing offshore practices in the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) of the European Union, which are under the sovereignty of four Member States: Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The institutional arrangements of the OCTs with the relevant EU Member States directly affect the possibility to establish policies and adopt regulations, including on taxation and money laundering. Regardless of the level of control of the EU Member States over their OCTs, implementation of the law by the local authorities is of concern in a number of the UK and Dutch OCTs, both in terms of structural weaknesses, but also because of limited financial and human resources. In the case of the French OCTs, suboptimal oversight controls and lack of information make it difficult to supervise financial activities. The opening analysis compares the French, Dutch and British cases in terms of combating tax evasion, money laundering and enhancing tax transparency; explores the case of Greenland; and draws conclusions on how the EU could better use its leverage in these overseas territories. The analysis is based on the detailed annexed contributions, written by external experts, which cover in detail the OCTs under French, Dutch, and British rule. This ex-post impact assessment has been produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service at the request of the European Parliament's Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) to assist it in the context of its ongoing work.

External author

Prof. Alexandre Maitrot de la Motte of the University of Paris-Est Creteil, Prof. Dr H.E. Bröring, Prof. Dr O.O. Cherednychenko, Prof. Dr H.G. Hoogers and G. Karapetian LL.M. (Department of Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Public Administration/Groningen Centre for European Financial Services Law (GCEFSL), University of Groningen), Dr Peter Clegg of the University of the West of England

The future of EU - ASEAN relations

20-04-2017

Marking the 40th anniversary of the start of their dialogue ASEAN and the EU have agreed to work towards establishing a strategic partnership. While trade has always been the cornerstone of the relationship - ASEAN is the EU’s third largest trade partner - the EU’s ambition to expand its role as a global actor demand increased engagement. Both sides face common challenges that can only be addressed through joint responses that involve all stakeholders. To be strategic the partnership must embrace ...

Marking the 40th anniversary of the start of their dialogue ASEAN and the EU have agreed to work towards establishing a strategic partnership. While trade has always been the cornerstone of the relationship - ASEAN is the EU’s third largest trade partner - the EU’s ambition to expand its role as a global actor demand increased engagement. Both sides face common challenges that can only be addressed through joint responses that involve all stakeholders. To be strategic the partnership must embrace all aspects, from trade to energy, from climate change to security issues, from human rights to sustainable development. Deepening and enhancing relations between one of the most dynamic region in the world and the largest and most affluent market will bring important benefits to both European and ASEAN citizens. The last years have seen an increase in contacts but the many challenges faced today by the EU, internally and in its close neighbourhood, risk to require all attention and put the EU-ASEAN relations at risk. Finally the study argues that strengthening the parliamentary dimension of the relationship would, besides supporting representative democracy in Southeast Asia, contribute to maintaining the momentum launched in 2012.

Rules on independence and responsibility regarding auditing, tax advice, accountancy, account certification services and legal services

14-04-2017

This study maps the rules on independence and responsibility that are applicable at national, EU, and international level that govern the service provision by intermediaries such as companies working in auditing, tax advice, accountancy and account certification or by legal advisors (attorneys, solicitors, legal consultants, in-house lawyers, etc.). The mapping forms the basis for policy recommendations to encourage intermediaries to deliver a positive contribution to combatting tax evasion, tax ...

This study maps the rules on independence and responsibility that are applicable at national, EU, and international level that govern the service provision by intermediaries such as companies working in auditing, tax advice, accountancy and account certification or by legal advisors (attorneys, solicitors, legal consultants, in-house lawyers, etc.). The mapping forms the basis for policy recommendations to encourage intermediaries to deliver a positive contribution to combatting tax evasion, tax avoidance and money laundering. This document was prepared for Policy Department A at the request of the Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA).

External author

Ian ROXAN (LSE), Saipriya KAMATH (LSE), Willem Pieter DE GROEN (CEPS) ; Research support: Katharina EHRHART (LSE Enterprise)

Role of advisors and intermediaries in the schemes revealed in the Panama Papers

14-04-2017

The use of offshore entities that facilitate money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion undermines the fair distribution of the tax burden in onshore jurisdictions. The Panama Papers shed some light on the activities that are usually conducted in secrecy, with the disclosure of information on 213,634 offshore entities in jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands, Panama and the Seychelles. This analysis assesses the role of advisors (tax experts, legal experts, administrators, investment ...

The use of offshore entities that facilitate money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion undermines the fair distribution of the tax burden in onshore jurisdictions. The Panama Papers shed some light on the activities that are usually conducted in secrecy, with the disclosure of information on 213,634 offshore entities in jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands, Panama and the Seychelles. This analysis assesses the role of advisors (tax experts, legal experts, administrators, investment advisors) and intermediaries (law firms, accounting firms, trust companies, banks, etc.) involved in the phases of the identified decision-making cycle (advice, creation, maintenance, enforcement). This document was prepared for Policy Department A at the request of the Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA).

External author

Willem Pieter DE GROEN (CEPS)

International trade [What Think Tanks are Thinking]

31-03-2017

The election of Donald Trump, who favours a bilateral over multilateral approach to international economic relations, as U.S. President may herald the end of an era of progressive liberalisation in global trade since the Second World War. At their meeting in March, finance ministers of the G20 group of major economies dropped their decade-long call to resist protectionism in international trade from their usual statement, under pressure from the new U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin. More changes ...

The election of Donald Trump, who favours a bilateral over multilateral approach to international economic relations, as U.S. President may herald the end of an era of progressive liberalisation in global trade since the Second World War. At their meeting in March, finance ministers of the G20 group of major economies dropped their decade-long call to resist protectionism in international trade from their usual statement, under pressure from the new U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin. More changes in international trade may also result from the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union, which will redefine their mutual trade relations and those with third countries. This note offers links to a series of recent studies and commentaries from major international think tanks and research institutes on current issues in global trade.

Upcoming events

30-05-2017
Hearing on legal consequences of Brexit
Hearing -
JURI
30-05-2017
The potential of electricity demand response
Workshop -
ITRE
30-05-2017
The current challenges of fighting terrorism and serious crime
Hearing -
LIBE

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