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CETA ratification process: Recent developments

21-06-2017

On 28 October 2016, the Council decided to sign the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and on 15 February 2017 the European Parliament gave its consent to the agreement's conclusion. As CETA is a mixed agreement, the EU Member States are currently in the process of ratifying it in accordance with their constitutional requirements. Only after all have done so, can the Council adopt a decision to conclude CETA, after which the agreement will enter into force.

On 28 October 2016, the Council decided to sign the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and on 15 February 2017 the European Parliament gave its consent to the agreement's conclusion. As CETA is a mixed agreement, the EU Member States are currently in the process of ratifying it in accordance with their constitutional requirements. Only after all have done so, can the Council adopt a decision to conclude CETA, after which the agreement will enter into force.

Ukraine: Temporary autonomous trade measures

24-05-2017

In view of the difficult economic situation and on-going reform process in Ukraine, the European Commission proposes to improve access for Ukraine to the EU market for some industrial and agricultural products. The European Parliament (EP) plenary vote is scheduled for May.

In view of the difficult economic situation and on-going reform process in Ukraine, the European Commission proposes to improve access for Ukraine to the EU market for some industrial and agricultural products. The European Parliament (EP) plenary vote is scheduled for May.

Human Rights Provisions in Economic Partnership Agreements in Light of the Expiry of the Cotonou Agreement in 2020

23-03-2017

The study considers the options for suspending obligations under the EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) in connection with violations of human rights, democratic principles or the rule of law following the expiry of the Cotonou Agreement in 2020. It outlines the functioning of the human rights clause in the Cotonou Agreement, before considering the possibilities for suspending the EPAs under their own provisions, or for other reasons in international law, such as countermeasures. Next, ...

The study considers the options for suspending obligations under the EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) in connection with violations of human rights, democratic principles or the rule of law following the expiry of the Cotonou Agreement in 2020. It outlines the functioning of the human rights clause in the Cotonou Agreement, before considering the possibilities for suspending the EPAs under their own provisions, or for other reasons in international law, such as countermeasures. Next, it discusses how any post-2020 arrangements can best continue the existing mechanisms for human rights conditionality set out in the Cotonou Agreement. In connection with this, this study proposes certain suggestions for improving future versions of human rights clauses, and considers whether there are legal obstacles to the invocation of this clause under general international law, principally under WTO law. The study concludes with a set of comments and recommendations.

Is CETA a mixed agreement?

01-07-2016

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada is currently being translated into the EU’s official languages. Once the translations are available, the European Commission can propose that the Council sign and conclude the agreement on behalf of the European Union. It is not yet decided whether the agreement in its entirety would fall under the exclusive competence of the European Union or would also touch upon Member States' competences. In the latter case, ratification by the ...

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada is currently being translated into the EU’s official languages. Once the translations are available, the European Commission can propose that the Council sign and conclude the agreement on behalf of the European Union. It is not yet decided whether the agreement in its entirety would fall under the exclusive competence of the European Union or would also touch upon Member States' competences. In the latter case, ratification by the Member States would also be necessary for the agreement to come into force. The Commission’s proposal is expected on 5 July 2016. If the Commission presents a proposal for an ‘EU-only’ agreement, the Council would need unanimity to change this.

Environmental and Social Standards in the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with West Africa: A Comparison to Other EPAs

02-06-2015

Although negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) were launched with seven regions in 2002 – with the expectation that they would be concluded within five years – only one full EPA was in force by March 2015: the agreement between the EU and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM). A few interim EPAs are being implemented, including one for Eastern and Southern Africa. This briefing compares the principal provisions on social and environmental standards in the EPA with West Africa to the provisions ...

Although negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) were launched with seven regions in 2002 – with the expectation that they would be concluded within five years – only one full EPA was in force by March 2015: the agreement between the EU and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM). A few interim EPAs are being implemented, including one for Eastern and Southern Africa. This briefing compares the principal provisions on social and environmental standards in the EPA with West Africa to the provisions in the CARIFORUM EPA and the interim EPA for Eastern and Southern Africa. In general, the CARIFORUM EPA contains the widest set of environmental and socials standards, as well as the most specific provisions, including on monitoring and dispute settlement procedures. While less comprehensive, the West Africa EPA also contains references to social and environmental objectives; the West Africa text confirms provisions in the Cotonou Partnership Agreement and includes a 'non-execution clause', which allows the EU to take measures in cases of human rights violations. The divergences between EPAs may well derive from different negotiating contexts. All EPAs will face a challenge when the Cotonou Agreement expires, as their non-execution clauses are linked to Cotonou.

Bosnia & Herzegovina: continuing standstill

30-01-2014

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) made very limited progress towards EU membership in 2013. The lack of measures to address discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, and thus implement the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights is preventing BiH from moving closer to the EU.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) made very limited progress towards EU membership in 2013. The lack of measures to address discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, and thus implement the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights is preventing BiH from moving closer to the EU.

EU-Marocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement

09-12-2011

The renewal of a protocol setting fishing opportunities for EU vessels in Morocco’s waters and the corresponding level of funding for Morocco has proved controversial.

The renewal of a protocol setting fishing opportunities for EU vessels in Morocco’s waters and the corresponding level of funding for Morocco has proved controversial.

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