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Parliamentary questions
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14 August 2018
Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003387/2018

At the time of the adoption of the Council Decision to authorise the signature of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on behalf of the Union, the Council adopted a statement regarding the possible termination of provisional application of CETA(1).

The procedures for concluding Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) depend on their content. If the provisions of a trade agreement fall under EU exclusive competences, the agreement is concluded by the EU alone, after consent of the European Parliament. Whenever a trade agreement also contains provisions that fall within the competence of Member States then it is concluded by the EU and by the Member States and it must also be ratified by the Member States in accordance with their domestic ratification procedures.

It will therefore be the content of future FTAs that will determine the procedure for their conclusion, in line with the EU Treaties and in accordance with the interpretation of the Treaties given by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Further to the proposal made to start trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, President Juncker has announced that the European Commission will publish in full all its recommendations for a Council decision to open negotiations and the draft negotiating directives proposed to the Council. This will facilitate discussions, including by members of national and regional parliaments in the Member States, regarding trade negotiations.

(1)Statement from the Council (statement number 20) as published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ L 11, 14.1.2017, p. 15).

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