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International Agreements in Progress: Modernisation of the trade pillar of the EU-Mexico Global Agreement

02-10-2020

On 21 April 2018, the EU and Mexico reached an agreement in principle on a modernised trade pillar of the EU-Mexico Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement, also known as the Global Agreement, in force since 2000. On 28 April 2020, negotiations were formally concluded after the only outstanding item – EU access to sub federal public procurement contracts in Mexico – was agreed upon. The trade pillar of the Global Agreement was the first trade liberalisation agreement ...

On 21 April 2018, the EU and Mexico reached an agreement in principle on a modernised trade pillar of the EU-Mexico Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement, also known as the Global Agreement, in force since 2000. On 28 April 2020, negotiations were formally concluded after the only outstanding item – EU access to sub federal public procurement contracts in Mexico – was agreed upon. The trade pillar of the Global Agreement was the first trade liberalisation agreement the EU concluded with a Latin American country. It has contributed to a significant increase in EU Mexico trade in services and industrial goods. However, it has become outdated, as both parties have entered into a wide range of preferential trade agreements with state-of-the-art provisions reflecting new developments in trade and investment policies. Removing non-tariff barriers to trade, and further liberalising trade in agricultural goods would allow the EU and Mexico to enhance their competitive edge in each other's markets. After the trade pillar's legal scrutiny and translation, it will become part of a three-pronged Global Agreement that will also contain revamped political dialogue and cooperation pillars and will be signed by the Council of the EU and its Mexican counterpart. The new Global Agreement will subsequently be submitted to the European Parliament for its consent. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Roderick Harte. The 'International Agreements in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification.

International Agreements in Progress - EU–China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment: Levelling the playing field with China

11-09-2020

Lack of reciprocity in access to the Chinese market and the absence of a level playing field for EU investors in China have posed major challenges for EU-China investment relations in recent years, with the negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on investment (CAI) being considered by the EU a key instrument to remedy this state of play. The CAI negotiations are aimed at establishing a uniform legal framework for EU-China investment ties by replacing the 25 outdated bilateral investment treaties ...

Lack of reciprocity in access to the Chinese market and the absence of a level playing field for EU investors in China have posed major challenges for EU-China investment relations in recent years, with the negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on investment (CAI) being considered by the EU a key instrument to remedy this state of play. The CAI negotiations are aimed at establishing a uniform legal framework for EU-China investment ties by replacing the 25 outdated bilateral investment treaties (BITs) China and EU Member States concluded prior to the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 when the EU gained competence for most investment issues. The CAI is intended to go far beyond traditional investment protection to also cover market access, investment-related sustainable development, and level playing field issues, such as transparency of subsidies, and rules on state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and forced technology transfer. Although leaders at the 2019 EU-China Summit jointly committed to concluding the CAI talks in 2020, lack of engagement at the highest political level on the Chinese side has raised doubts as to whether a breakthrough can be reached in time, with China more focused on navigating the uncertainties of its relations with the United States from January 2021. First edition. The 'International Agreements in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification.

EU-China geographical indications agreement

02-09-2020

On 6 November 2019, the EU and China concluded negotiations on a standalone agreement on cooperation on, and protection of, geographical indications (GIs), i.e. distinctive signs attached to (mainly) agricultural products that have a given quality, reputation or other characteristics that are attributable to their specific geographic origin. GIs are a type of intellectual property right (IPR) protected at multilateral level under the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ...

On 6 November 2019, the EU and China concluded negotiations on a standalone agreement on cooperation on, and protection of, geographical indications (GIs), i.e. distinctive signs attached to (mainly) agricultural products that have a given quality, reputation or other characteristics that are attributable to their specific geographic origin. GIs are a type of intellectual property right (IPR) protected at multilateral level under the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and in the EU under a sui generis GI protection regime. The reciprocal EU-China agreement seeks to protect 100 EU GIs in China and 100 Chinese GIs in the EU against imitation and usurpation. On 20 July 2020, the Council endorsed its signature, and the European Parliament has now to give its consent for the agreement's conclusion. Once in force, the agreement could help boost EU exports of high-quality foodstuffs, wines and spirits to the EU's third-largest destination for agrifood exports, and foster rural development. It would also expand global recognition of the EU's sui generis GI protection regime, a key EU trade policy objective.

Review of EU Enforcement Regulation for trade disputes

20-07-2020

On 12 December 2019, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend Regulation (EU) No 654/2014 concerning the exercise of the EU's rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules ('the Enforcement Regulation') of 15 May 2014. The Enforcement Regulation enables the EU to suspend or withdraw concessions or other obligations under international trade agreements in order to respond to breaches by third countries of international trade rules that affect the EU's commercial ...

On 12 December 2019, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend Regulation (EU) No 654/2014 concerning the exercise of the EU's rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules ('the Enforcement Regulation') of 15 May 2014. The Enforcement Regulation enables the EU to suspend or withdraw concessions or other obligations under international trade agreements in order to respond to breaches by third countries of international trade rules that affect the EU's commercial interests. The proposed amendments would enable the EU to impose counter-measures in situations where EU trade partners violate international trade rules and block the dispute settlement procedures included in multilateral, regional and bilateral trade agreements, thus preventing the EU from obtaining final binding rulings in its favour. The latter are required under the current EU regulation to enforce international trade rules. As the Council adopted its negotiating position on 8 April 2020 and the Committee on International Trade (INTA) of the European Parliament adopted its negotiating position on 6 July 2020, trilogue negotiations can now be launched as the next step in the legislative process. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

EU-China relations: Taking stock after the 2020 EU-China Summit

30-06-2020

The 22nd EU-China Summit, originally scheduled for March 2020, was postponed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. While other summits were simply cancelled or postponed indefinitely, the EU and China decided to hold the summit by video-link, on 22 June 2020. This decision testifies to the importance both sides attach to taking their complex relationship forward in difficult times. The 2020 summit offered the opportunity to take stock of progress made on past commitments and to re-calibrate EU-China relations ...

The 22nd EU-China Summit, originally scheduled for March 2020, was postponed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. While other summits were simply cancelled or postponed indefinitely, the EU and China decided to hold the summit by video-link, on 22 June 2020. This decision testifies to the importance both sides attach to taking their complex relationship forward in difficult times. The 2020 summit offered the opportunity to take stock of progress made on past commitments and to re-calibrate EU-China relations, against the backdrop of the wide-ranging fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, growing United States-China strategic rivalry, rapid geopolitical power shifts and the erosion of multilateralism. Looking at EU-China relations through the lens of the 2019 EU-China strategic outlook, China is seen as being at once a partner for cooperation and negotiation, an economic competitor and a systemic rival. China has been a cooperation and negotiating partner for the EU in several fields where interests have converged. Nonetheless, the different norms and values underlying the EU and Chinese political and economic systems have made cooperation challenging. Shared objectives do not necessarily lead to the same approaches to pursuing them. Economic competition has become fiercer in China, in the EU and in third markets. As the Chinese leadership shows growing assertiveness in disseminating alternative models of governance – at international, regional and bilateral levels, China is also acting as a systemic rival, on an increasing number of issues. The coronavirus pandemic has amplified pre-existing political and economic challenges in EU-China relations. It has exposed the EU's over-reliance on China for the supply of strategic goods and also China's confrontational 'Wolf Warrior diplomacy', which has involved the use of a wide range of tools, including disinformation campaigns, political influence and economic coercion, in an attempt to alter narratives critical of China's management of the crisis. It has also clearly demonstrated the need for a 'more robust' EU policy on China.

Hongkong: Ein von Peking aufgezwungenes Sicherheitsgesetz?

11-06-2020

Am 28. Mai 2020 ermächtigte der Nationale Volkskongress der Volksrepublik China seinen Ständigen Ausschuss, ein Gesetz über die nationale Sicherheit für Hongkong zu verabschieden, wobei das Parlament der Stadt, der Legislativrat, umgangen wurde. Das Gesetz, das voraussichtlich vor der für September 2020 geplanten Parlamentswahl in Hongkong in Kraft treten wird, dürfte einen Wendepunkt für die weitreichende Autonomie der Stadt und ein vorzeitiges Auslaufen des Modells „Ein Land, zwei Systeme“ darstellen ...

Am 28. Mai 2020 ermächtigte der Nationale Volkskongress der Volksrepublik China seinen Ständigen Ausschuss, ein Gesetz über die nationale Sicherheit für Hongkong zu verabschieden, wobei das Parlament der Stadt, der Legislativrat, umgangen wurde. Das Gesetz, das voraussichtlich vor der für September 2020 geplanten Parlamentswahl in Hongkong in Kraft treten wird, dürfte einen Wendepunkt für die weitreichende Autonomie der Stadt und ein vorzeitiges Auslaufen des Modells „Ein Land, zwei Systeme“ darstellen, das ab 1997 für 50 Jahre gelten sollte. Das Europäische Parlament wird voraussichtlich in der Juni-Plenartagung eine Erklärung des Hohen Vertreters erörtern.

China's democratic neighbours and coronavirus: Protecting populations without lockdowns

06-05-2020

North-east Asian countries have deep and historical economic, human and cultural connections with China, based on their geographical proximity to the latter country, and were the first to be exposed to the coronavirus contagion after its initial outbreak. They were not caught unprepared, having dealt with the SARS and the MERS epidemics in recent times. South Korea and Taiwan, in particular, have successfully showcased a model characterised by minimal restrictions on economic activities and daily ...

North-east Asian countries have deep and historical economic, human and cultural connections with China, based on their geographical proximity to the latter country, and were the first to be exposed to the coronavirus contagion after its initial outbreak. They were not caught unprepared, having dealt with the SARS and the MERS epidemics in recent times. South Korea and Taiwan, in particular, have successfully showcased a model characterised by minimal restrictions on economic activities and daily lives, where safeguarding the health of the people has not had devastating consequences for the health of the economy, as witnessed in other parts of the world. They have also showed that it is possible to effectively manage the coronavirus threat transparently, without authoritarian methods. Their models, illustrating that it is possible to implement a successful – albeit sometimes unnoticed – alternative to a liberal laissez-faire model or to a drastic lockdown, could become precious assets for public diplomacy and soft power tools. Given the high rate of information and communications technology penetration in the region, it has been easier for the authorities to make use of big data and contact-tracing by smartphone in order to prevent the pandemic from spreading, as well as collect information on those infected. However, this approach has raised issues of privacy, especially as the details collected allow the identification of those infected and could possibly expose them to stigmatisation. Despite the coronavirus outbreak, South Korea is a healthy democracy. It successfully held a general election on 15 April 2020, giving substance to the statement made by the European Parliament's President, David Sassoli: 'Democracy cannot be suspended in the face of Covid-19'.

Religion und Außenpolitik der EU: Wachsendes Engagement

12-02-2020

Die Religion entwickelt sich zu einer neuen Dimension in der auswärtigen Politik der EU. Dieses Dokument vermittelt einen Überblick über die Grundsätze, den institutionellen Rahmen und die Politik, die dem Ansatz der EU bei religiösen Themen in Drittländern zugrunde liegen. Mittlerweile liegen neun Fallstudien vor, die veranschaulichen, welche wichtige Rolle die Religion in der Außenpolitik unterschiedlichster Länder weltweit spielt.

Die Religion entwickelt sich zu einer neuen Dimension in der auswärtigen Politik der EU. Dieses Dokument vermittelt einen Überblick über die Grundsätze, den institutionellen Rahmen und die Politik, die dem Ansatz der EU bei religiösen Themen in Drittländern zugrunde liegen. Mittlerweile liegen neun Fallstudien vor, die veranschaulichen, welche wichtige Rolle die Religion in der Außenpolitik unterschiedlichster Länder weltweit spielt.

Handel der EU mit Lateinamerika und der Karibik: Überblick und Zahlen

16-12-2019

Die 33 Länder, die die Gemeinschaft der Lateinamerikanischen und Karibischen Staaten (CELAC) bilden, sind der fünftgrößte Handelspartner der EU. Die EU hat vollwertige Abkommen mit zwei lateinamerikanischen Zusammenschlüssen (Cariforum und Zentralamerikagruppe), ein multilaterales Handels-abkommen mit drei Staaten der Andengemeinschaft (Kolumbien, Ecuador und Peru) und Abkommen mit Mexiko und Chile, die derzeit modernisiert werden. Darüber hinaus hat die EU interregionale und bilaterale Rahmenabkommen ...

Die 33 Länder, die die Gemeinschaft der Lateinamerikanischen und Karibischen Staaten (CELAC) bilden, sind der fünftgrößte Handelspartner der EU. Die EU hat vollwertige Abkommen mit zwei lateinamerikanischen Zusammenschlüssen (Cariforum und Zentralamerikagruppe), ein multilaterales Handels-abkommen mit drei Staaten der Andengemeinschaft (Kolumbien, Ecuador und Peru) und Abkommen mit Mexiko und Chile, die derzeit modernisiert werden. Darüber hinaus hat die EU interregionale und bilaterale Rahmenabkommen sowohl mit dem Mercosur als auch mit seinen einzelnen Mitgliedern geschlossen. Die zwischen der EU und Zusammenschlüssen sowie einzelnen Ländern in Lateinamerika und der Karibik geschlossenen Abkommen über Handelsbeziehungen weisen in Bezug auf Anwendungsbereich und Methodik je nach Zeitpunkt, zu dem sie geschlossen wurden, und Kontext der Verhandlungen deutliche Unterschiede auf. Die EU modernisiert derzeit die Handelssäulen ihrer Abkommen mit Mexiko (eine „Grundsatzvereinbarung“ wurde im April 2018 erzielt) und Chile (die Verhandlungen laufen noch), um sie an die derzeitigen Normen der FHA der EU anzupassen. Wenn das Assoziierungsabkommen zwischen der EU und dem Mercosur, für dessen Handelssäule im Juni 2019 eine politische Einigung erzielt wurde, erfolgreich ratifiziert wird, hätte die EU umfassende Abkommen über Handelsbeziehungen mit nahezu allen lateinamerikanischen und karibischen Staaten (mit Ausnahme von Bolivien, Kuba und Venezuela).

Träger des Sacharow-Preises 2019: Ilham Tohti

10-12-2019

Weltweit wird der Raum für Gedankenfreiheit immer weiter eingeengt, da autoritäre Regime immer mehr geopolitisches und geowirtschaftliches Gewicht bekommen. Der Sacharow-Preis für geistige Freiheit ist daher wichtiger denn je: Er ermöglicht es dem Europäischen Parlament, gemäß Artikel 21 des Vertrags über die Europäische Union auf die Notlage derjenigen aufmerksam zu machen, die sich gegen die Unterdrückung der Menschenrechte und Grundfreiheiten einsetzen, auf die sich die EU gründet und die sie ...

Weltweit wird der Raum für Gedankenfreiheit immer weiter eingeengt, da autoritäre Regime immer mehr geopolitisches und geowirtschaftliches Gewicht bekommen. Der Sacharow-Preis für geistige Freiheit ist daher wichtiger denn je: Er ermöglicht es dem Europäischen Parlament, gemäß Artikel 21 des Vertrags über die Europäische Union auf die Notlage derjenigen aufmerksam zu machen, die sich gegen die Unterdrückung der Menschenrechte und Grundfreiheiten einsetzen, auf die sich die EU gründet und die sie in ihren Außenbeziehungen fördert. Sacharow-Preisträger 2019 ist der angesehene uigurische Wirtschaftsprofessor Ilham Tohti, ein gemäßigter Verfechter der Rechte der uigurischen Minderheit und des Dialogs mit der Han-Mehrheit in China. Vor dem Hintergrund der sich verschärfenden Politik Chinas gegen religiösen Extremismus, ethnischen Separatismus und Terrorismus – in deren Rahmen man die uigurische Identität inzwischen als schwerwiegende Bedrohung der nationalen Sicherheit verteufelt – wurde er 2014 unter mit Separatismus zusammenhängenden Vorwürfen zu lebenslanger Haft verurteilt. Der Sacharow-Preis ist eine mit 50 000 EUR dotierte Auszeichnung, die auf einer Feier im Europäischen Parlament während der Plenartagung im Dezember in Straßburg in Anwesenheit der weiteren Finalisten vorgestellt wird.

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