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The level playing-field for labour and environment in EU-UK relations

26-04-2021

The level playing-field (LPF) provisions of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) constitute a key part of the agreement, and became a major source of divergence between the negotiators. LPF provisions establish rules to safeguard fair competition between the parties' businesses. A notable component are the rules on social provisions, labour, environment and climate change, often referred to as the 'trade and sustainable development' ...

The level playing-field (LPF) provisions of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) constitute a key part of the agreement, and became a major source of divergence between the negotiators. LPF provisions establish rules to safeguard fair competition between the parties' businesses. A notable component are the rules on social provisions, labour, environment and climate change, often referred to as the 'trade and sustainable development' (TSD) chapters in other free trade agreements (FTAs). The trading relationship between the EU and the UK is fundamentally different from that with other non-EU countries since, on the one hand, EU laws were applicable to the UK until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 and, on the other, these two economies neighbour each other and are strongly interconnected. The TCA is therefore designed to maintain sufficiently 'convergent' standards to safeguard fair competition, while providing each party with the freedom to implement its own approach to social and environmental protection. To this end, the TCA requires that parties do not weaken or reduce their levels of social, labour and environmental standards as of the end of 2020 (non-regression); the EU commitments on climate change, in particular on climate neutrality by 2050, will also remain for both parties. In addition, the TCA introduces rebalancing provisions creating a mechanism whereby a party can take 'proportionate measures' in order to offset any (adverse) 'material impacts on trade or investment' resulting from 'significant divergences' between parties. It also allows either party to request a review with a view to amending the agreement, and either party can opt to terminate the trade chapters if the amendment is not satisfactory. Although the TCA LPF provisions on labour and environment are in many respects similar to those in the EU's new generation FTAs, they strengthen the enforcement of non-regression provisions by allowing for remedial measures, and also reinforce the precautionary approach. The TCA also represents a notable innovation with its rebalancing and review provisions.

EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement

22-04-2021

During the April plenary session, the European Parliament is due to vote on giving its consent to the Council decision concluding the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom. This Agreement, which has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2021, is the institutional framework, which, conditional on Parliament's consent, will govern the new EU-UK relationship. It establishes trade on zero-tariff/quota terms and covers a wide range of areas, including energy ...

During the April plenary session, the European Parliament is due to vote on giving its consent to the Council decision concluding the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom. This Agreement, which has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2021, is the institutional framework, which, conditional on Parliament's consent, will govern the new EU-UK relationship. It establishes trade on zero-tariff/quota terms and covers a wide range of areas, including energy, transport and fisheries.

EU-UK private-sector data flows after Brexit: Settling on adequacy

09-04-2021

EU-UK data flows – the lifelines of our shared digital trade – have come under pressure following the UK's withdrawal from the EU. To take regulatory and business decisions, a clear understanding of the state of play and future prospects for EU-UK transfers of personal data is indispensable. This EPRS in-depth analysis reviews and assesses trade dealings, adequacy challenges and transfer instruments under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

EU-UK data flows – the lifelines of our shared digital trade – have come under pressure following the UK's withdrawal from the EU. To take regulatory and business decisions, a clear understanding of the state of play and future prospects for EU-UK transfers of personal data is indispensable. This EPRS in-depth analysis reviews and assesses trade dealings, adequacy challenges and transfer instruments under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Prospects for EU-Asia connectivity: The 'European way to connectivity'

06-04-2021

Asia matters to Europe: home to the world's largest population and fastest-growing economies, Asia is a major trade partner of the EU. Recognising this, the EU has promoted the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), established five strategic partnerships – including with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) – and negotiated or concluded free trade agreements with several Asian countries. In September 2018, the EU adopted a joint communication on 'Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks ...

Asia matters to Europe: home to the world's largest population and fastest-growing economies, Asia is a major trade partner of the EU. Recognising this, the EU has promoted the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), established five strategic partnerships – including with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) – and negotiated or concluded free trade agreements with several Asian countries. In September 2018, the EU adopted a joint communication on 'Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks for an EU strategy'. The strategy proposes that the EU engage with its Asian partners through a sustainable, comprehensive and rules-based approach to connectivity, exploiting existing and planned EU networks. It acknowledges the presence of a significant investment gap in connectivity and recognises the need to mobilise and strengthen cooperation with private investors, national and international institutions, and multilateral development banks. Analysts welcomed the strategy as the EU response to China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This initiative has been raising concerns in the EU and in several participating countries, some of which are worried about possible 'debt traps'. Echoing these concerns, the European Parliament has warned that the 17+1 format of cooperation between China and 17 central and eastern European countries could undermine the EU's common position towards Beijing. In January 2021, MEPs called for the creation of a global EU connectivity strategy as an extension of the current EU-Asia connectivity strategy. In September 2019, the EU and Japan launched the EU-Japan Partnership on Sustainable Connectivity and Quality Infrastructure. In December 2020, the EU and ASEAN issued a joint ministerial statement on connectivity. Financing Europe-Asia connectivity is a key challenge in the years to come, together with the challenges highlighted by the coronavirus crisis. This is a revised and updated edition of a briefing from October 2018.

First appraisal of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement by Policy Department A

30-03-2021

“Agreements concluded by the Union are binding upon the institutions of the Union and on its Member States.” (Article 216(2) TFEU). According to the Case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), International law takes precedence over (secondary) EU law: “It should also be pointed out that, by virtue of Article 216(2) TFEU, where international agreements are concluded by the European Union they are binding upon its institutions and, consequently, they prevail over acts of the European ...

“Agreements concluded by the Union are binding upon the institutions of the Union and on its Member States.” (Article 216(2) TFEU). According to the Case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), International law takes precedence over (secondary) EU law: “It should also be pointed out that, by virtue of Article 216(2) TFEU, where international agreements are concluded by the European Union they are binding upon its institutions and, consequently, they prevail over acts of the European Union (see, to this effect, Case C‑61/94 Commission v Germany [1996] ECR I‑3989, paragraph 52; Case C‑311/04 Algemene Scheeps Agentuur Dordrecht [2006] ECR I‑609, paragraph 25; Case C‑308/06 Intertanko and Others [2008] ECR I‑4057, paragraph 42; and Joined Cases C‑402/05 P and C‑415/05 P Kadi and Al Barakaat International Foundation v Council and Commission [2008] ECR I‑6351, paragraph 307)” . Arguably, acts adopted by bodies established by the EU-UK TCA could also enjoy primacy: “7 It follows [...] that decisions of the EEC-Turkey Association Council are measures adopted by a body provided for by the Agreement and empowered by the Contracting Parties to adopt such measures. 18 In so far as they implement the objectives set by the Agreement, such decisions are directly connected with the Agreement and, as a result of the second sentence of Article 22(1) thereof, have the effect of binding the Contracting Parties. 19 By virtue of the Agreement, the Contracting Parties agreed to be bound by such decisions and if those parties were to withdraw from that commitment, that would constitute a breach of the Agreement itself.

Externí autor

Andreas Huber at Al.

Interpretation and implementation of Article 50 TEU Legal and institutional assessment

24-03-2021

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, looks into the constitutional and institutional challenges that the European Union faced during the Brexit negotiations, and analyses whether the current wording of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union was applied in an adequate manner and allowed for an efficient and properly organised withdrawal procedure.

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, looks into the constitutional and institutional challenges that the European Union faced during the Brexit negotiations, and analyses whether the current wording of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union was applied in an adequate manner and allowed for an efficient and properly organised withdrawal procedure.

Externí autor

PAPAGEORGIOU Ioannis

EU Trade Policy: how can FTAs better deliver for SMEs?

08-03-2021

These briefings discuss how free trade agreements (FTAs) can help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It provides an overview of FTAs with provisions supporting SMEs internationalise. Based on a literature review, we also discuss the main challenges and concerns for SMEs doing business in third countries. First, we show the current situation of European SMEs with respect to internationalisation and highlight the corresponding benefits. Following previous literature on the topic, we distinguish ...

These briefings discuss how free trade agreements (FTAs) can help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It provides an overview of FTAs with provisions supporting SMEs internationalise. Based on a literature review, we also discuss the main challenges and concerns for SMEs doing business in third countries. First, we show the current situation of European SMEs with respect to internationalisation and highlight the corresponding benefits. Following previous literature on the topic, we distinguish between SMEs without international operations and SMEs that are already internationalised and discuss how different barriers can affect them. Finally, the last section discusses initiatives at the EU and national level to support SMEs and concludes with a set of recommendations how to better support them.

Externí autor

Thibo CLICTEUR, Frauke DE TEMMERMAN, Duy HUYNH-OLESEN, Katrien NUYTS, Nazareno BRAITO, Davide CECCANTI

Benefits of EU trade agreements for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

08-03-2021

This briefing discusses how free trade agreements (FTAs) can help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It provides an overview of the FTAs that the EU has concluded, along with a classification and a discussion of key provisions on and for SMEs. Several pioneering agreements are studied more closely, including the EU-Japan, EU-Canada, EU-Mercosur and EU-UK agreements. To conclude, the briefing assesses SME awareness of FTA chapters and analyses the related benefits.

This briefing discusses how free trade agreements (FTAs) can help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It provides an overview of the FTAs that the EU has concluded, along with a classification and a discussion of key provisions on and for SMEs. Several pioneering agreements are studied more closely, including the EU-Japan, EU-Canada, EU-Mercosur and EU-UK agreements. To conclude, the briefing assesses SME awareness of FTA chapters and analyses the related benefits.

Externí autor

Thibo CLICTEUR, Frauke DE TEMMERMAN, Duy HUYNH-OLESEN, Katrien NUYTS

EU actions to overcome challenges of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

08-03-2021

This briefing discusses the actions that the EU could take to properly tackle the challenges that SMEs are currently facing. Several initiatives have already been launched, such as the EU Helpdesk, the Access2Markets Platform and the CTEO. The pros and cons of these initiatives are outlined, and examples and a general assessment are provided. In a second step, several actions of Member States and commerce organisations are highlighted and a detailed classification provided. In a final step, recommendations ...

This briefing discusses the actions that the EU could take to properly tackle the challenges that SMEs are currently facing. Several initiatives have already been launched, such as the EU Helpdesk, the Access2Markets Platform and the CTEO. The pros and cons of these initiatives are outlined, and examples and a general assessment are provided. In a second step, several actions of Member States and commerce organisations are highlighted and a detailed classification provided. In a final step, recommendations are formulated for helping the EU to overcome the challenges and concerns of SMEs, to support and improve day-to-day business activities, and facilitate internationalisation.

Externí autor

Nazareno BRAITO, Davide CECCANTI , Frauke DE TEMMERMAN, Duy HUYNH-OLESEN

EU-UK relations in fisheries

25-02-2021

The United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union has brought significant uncertainty for the fisheries sector. Fisheries, and especially EU fishing rights in UK waters, played a prominent role in the recent negotiations on future EU-UK relations and ultimately became the final obstacle to reaching an agreement, being the very last point to be agreed. The new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, settled on 24 December 2020, marks an important milestone in the long history of fisheries relations ...

The United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union has brought significant uncertainty for the fisheries sector. Fisheries, and especially EU fishing rights in UK waters, played a prominent role in the recent negotiations on future EU-UK relations and ultimately became the final obstacle to reaching an agreement, being the very last point to be agreed. The new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, settled on 24 December 2020, marks an important milestone in the long history of fisheries relations in the North-east Atlantic. The agreement maintains full access to waters until 30 June 2026, with part of the EU quota shares gradually transferred to the UK during this period. After 1 July 2026, access to waters will be decided by a process of annual consultations. The quota shares will remain stable at the 2025 level, and can only be changed with the mutual consent of both parties. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement ensures that fisheries and aquaculture products continue to be traded without tariffs, but non-tariff measures associated with the UK leaving the EU common market, such as certification requirements and customs controls, will involve slower and more expensive trade flows.

Chystané akce

25-10-2021
European Gender Equality Week - October 25-28, 2021
Další akce -
FEMM AFET DROI SEDE DEVE BUDG CONT ECON EMPL ITRE TRAN AGRI PECH CULT JURI PETI
25-10-2021
Capacity for proper expenditure controls of the increased budget of the MFF and NGEU
Slyšení -
CONT
25-10-2021
Ninth meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on Europol, 25-26 October
Další akce -
LIBE

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