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Study in focus: Review of EU-third country cooperation on policies falling within the ITRE domain in relation to Brexit

15-06-2017

The study provides a critical assessment of the implications of existing models of cooperation of third countries with the European Union in each of four thematic areas for which the ITRE is responsible (energy, electronic communications, research policy, and small business policy). This briefing provides short summary of this study. Link to the original publication: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2017/602057/IPOL_STU(2017)602057_EN.pdf

The study provides a critical assessment of the implications of existing models of cooperation of third countries with the European Union in each of four thematic areas for which the ITRE is responsible (energy, electronic communications, research policy, and small business policy). This briefing provides short summary of this study. Link to the original publication: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2017/602057/IPOL_STU(2017)602057_EN.pdf

Externe Autor

J. Scott MARCUS, Georgios PETROPOULOS, André SAPIR, Simone TAGLIAPIETRA, Alessio TERZI, Reinhilde VEUGELERS, Georg ZACHMANN

Foreign direct investment screening: A debate in light of China-EU FDI flows

17-05-2017

In 2016, the flow of Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) into the EU hit record levels, in sharp contrast to the continued decline in EU FDI flows to China. Chinese FDI was mainly driven by market-seeking and strategic asset-seeking motives and focused on big EU economies, targeting cutting-edge technologies in particular. In 2016, a number of Chinese proposals for transactions in strategic sectors came under scrutiny during security reviews at EU Member-State level. Some were delayed, and some ...

In 2016, the flow of Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) into the EU hit record levels, in sharp contrast to the continued decline in EU FDI flows to China. Chinese FDI was mainly driven by market-seeking and strategic asset-seeking motives and focused on big EU economies, targeting cutting-edge technologies in particular. In 2016, a number of Chinese proposals for transactions in strategic sectors came under scrutiny during security reviews at EU Member-State level. Some were delayed, and some were ultimately withdrawn by the Chinese investors. In this context, new challenges going beyond national security have emerged in terms of economic security. Such challenges may arise from alleged 'unfair competition' from China, which the current regulatory framework seems unable to address. This has sparked a debate about whether the patchwork of different mechanisms for screening FDI on national security grounds currently in place in nearly half of the EU Member States, coupled with the scrutiny of mergers and acquisitions under EU competition rules, are adequate regulatory tools for tackling the perceived new challenges. It also raises the question of whether the Member States' diverging approaches should be upgraded, better coordinated or even replaced by a new consistent FDI screening mechanism at EU level. Australia, Canada, Japan and the USA operate FDI screening mechanisms, which the EU could use as sources of reference but not emulate entirely. The use of these screening mechanisms for, and their deterrence effect on, Chinese investors in a growing protectionist climate is, however, likely to have an impact on the EU.

Potential Concepts for the Future EU-UK Relationship in Financial Services

15-12-2016

This study assesses the key impacts of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union on the financial system and its infrastructures, on financial firms and financial services under three alternative concepts for the future EU-UK relationship. In addition to the impact on the ‘passporting rights’ of financial firms, particular emphasis is given to the impact on the regulatory framework governing i.a. credit institutions under a ‘third-country status’ scenario for the UK, the impact on payment ...

This study assesses the key impacts of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union on the financial system and its infrastructures, on financial firms and financial services under three alternative concepts for the future EU-UK relationship. In addition to the impact on the ‘passporting rights’ of financial firms, particular emphasis is given to the impact on the regulatory framework governing i.a. credit institutions under a ‘third-country status’ scenario for the UK, the impact on payment systems and market infrastructures, as well as to certain aspects of the EU institutional framework governing the monetary and the financial system could be affected. This study was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the ECON Committee.

Externe Autor

Christos V. GORTSOS

Comparing EU and EFTA Trade Agreements: Drivers, Actors, Benefits, and Costs

30-05-2016

EFTA states have built up a network of 26 preferential trade agreements (PTAs) with 37 partners, compared to more than 120 trade agreements concluded by the EU with more than 45 partners. There are substantial differences between EU and EFTA PTAs in terms of scope and ambition. EFTA agreements still focus on traditional areas of market access, while the post-1990 EU agreements are more elaborate, values-driven, political and comprehensive. As a bloc, the EU has more leverage when it negotiates ...

EFTA states have built up a network of 26 preferential trade agreements (PTAs) with 37 partners, compared to more than 120 trade agreements concluded by the EU with more than 45 partners. There are substantial differences between EU and EFTA PTAs in terms of scope and ambition. EFTA agreements still focus on traditional areas of market access, while the post-1990 EU agreements are more elaborate, values-driven, political and comprehensive. As a bloc, the EU has more leverage when it negotiates around the world. The size of its market and its highly developed common policies mean that the EU can bring more to the negotiating table and has stronger tools to enforce its economic interests and political conditions compared to the smaller EFTA states whose political and economic cooperation is limited. Although the EFTA states do not form a customs union like the EU, they usually negotiate PTAs as a group, bringing their combined economic and political weight to bear. However, they retain the right to reach bilateral trade agreements with third countries outside the EFTA framework, such as Switzerland's PTAs with Japan and China, and Iceland's bilateral PTA with China. EFTA's small size nonetheless has some benefits. Since EFTA states are not so constrained by — often diverging — interests they can be more flexible in their negotiations. In some cases EFTA has concluded trade deals relatively quickly compared to the EU, but this has been at the expense of relatively shallow trade agreements.

Externe Autor

Andreas MAURER

Research for TRAN Committee - Status Report on the Deployment of SESAR

13-05-2016

This report captures the status of deployment of SESAR through the Pilot Common Project (PCP) in terms of state of play, costs and timeliness. It is concluded that the PCP implementation is on time and underpinned by a credible management structure. The expenditure to date through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) mechanism is EUR 325.4 million, out of EUR 3 billion planned for 2014-2020. However, as the PCP implementation is at an early stage, the benefits are still to be quantified.

This report captures the status of deployment of SESAR through the Pilot Common Project (PCP) in terms of state of play, costs and timeliness. It is concluded that the PCP implementation is on time and underpinned by a credible management structure. The expenditure to date through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) mechanism is EUR 325.4 million, out of EUR 3 billion planned for 2014-2020. However, as the PCP implementation is at an early stage, the benefits are still to be quantified.

Externe Autor

Washington Yotto Ochieng (FREng) and Milena Studic

Free trade agreements between EFTA and third countries: An overview

18-04-2016

The biggest trading partner of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is the EU, but third countries have made up an increasing share of EFTA's trade since it began exploring new markets through free trade agreements (FTAs) following the end of the Cold War. Since international trade accounts for a significant share of EFTA countries' national economies, boosting trade with new markets is a priority for the association. Trade between the EU and three of the four EFTA states (the EEA EFTA states ...

The biggest trading partner of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is the EU, but third countries have made up an increasing share of EFTA's trade since it began exploring new markets through free trade agreements (FTAs) following the end of the Cold War. Since international trade accounts for a significant share of EFTA countries' national economies, boosting trade with new markets is a priority for the association. Trade between the EU and three of the four EFTA states (the EEA EFTA states) is subject to the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, meaning these countries adopt EU legislation relevant to the Single Market. As the EU accounts for almost 70% of EFTA's total trade, EU rules and regulations play a major role in its trade relations. This has tended to restrict EFTA members' trade policies towards third countries. EFTA began to negotiate FTAs around the world in the 1990s. Today, EFTA's network of preferential trade relations consists of 25 FTAs covering 36 countries. Further negotiations and exploratory talks are ongoing with major emerging economies such as India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Modernisation and extension of some existing (first generation) FTAs, to incorporate new areas such as trade in services and investment, is also under way. Because EFTA is a free trade area not requiring the harmonisation of member countries' external trade policies, EFTA members are free to decide their own trade policies towards third countries. They have therefore signed bilateral FTAs with a number of third countries. The Iceland-China FTA, China's first with a European country, is one noteworthy example. Norway has signed two bilateral FTAs (with the Faroe Islands and Greenland), while Switzerland, which has been in a customs union with Liechtenstein since 1923, has concluded bilateral FTAs with three countries – China, Japan, and the Faroe Islands. For the most part, EFTA has been able to speak with one voice whilst allowing its individual members to decide their own bilateral policies.

The 1995 enlargement of the European Union: The accession of Finland and Sweden

04-11-2015

This year, Finland and Sweden, like Austria, celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their accession to the European Union. This historical study focuses specifically on the entry into the Union of the first two countries. Distinct economic and social policies, as well as issues of neutrality during the Cold War, had kept the two Nordic countries from developing closer relations with the European Community. However, economic and geopolitical changes allowed this situation to evolve into a deeper and ...

This year, Finland and Sweden, like Austria, celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their accession to the European Union. This historical study focuses specifically on the entry into the Union of the first two countries. Distinct economic and social policies, as well as issues of neutrality during the Cold War, had kept the two Nordic countries from developing closer relations with the European Community. However, economic and geopolitical changes allowed this situation to evolve into a deeper and mutually beneficial relationship. This is the latest study in the European Union History Series, which is primarily based on documents preserved in and made available to the public by the Historical Archives of the Parliament and the archives of other EU institutions.

Comparing International Trade Policies: The EU, United States, EFTA and Japanese PTA Strategies

05-11-2013

This paper assesses the substance of EU preferential trade agreements compared to those of the United States, EFTA and Japan. The topic is important because of the growth of PTAs but also because PTAs are destined to remain at centre stage. The debate on PTAs is not therefore about whether and how they might grow in importance but rather how they reflect trade policy preferences of the parties and how preferential and multilateral approaches will interact. While PTAs can promote liberalisation in ...

This paper assesses the substance of EU preferential trade agreements compared to those of the United States, EFTA and Japan. The topic is important because of the growth of PTAs but also because PTAs are destined to remain at centre stage. The debate on PTAs is not therefore about whether and how they might grow in importance but rather how they reflect trade policy preferences of the parties and how preferential and multilateral approaches will interact. While PTAs can promote liberalisation in particular sectors and help generate economic growth, preferential liberalisation will always be second best to multilateral liberalisation on an MFN basis because of the trade and investment diversion inherent in preferential deals. In this light, the paper proposes policy recommendations for the EU, covering, first, the broad objectives and desired outcomes of EU trade policy in general, second, the overall framework of EU PTA policy; and third, specific, sectoral, goals of EU PTA policy.

Externe Autor

Kenneth HEYDON (International Trade Policy Unit, London School of Economics, the UK) and Stephen WOOLCOCK (International Trade Policy Unit, London School of Economics, the UK)

Switzerland's implementation of EU legislation

08-10-2012

Switzerland and the EU are linked via more than 120 bilateral agreements, which concern the single market and other sectors. Binding obligations to implement EU law are enshrined in the various bilateral agreements, but mostly they do not extend to take account of changes in EU law. The EU is trying to convince Switzerland to put relations into a more systematic framework with effective institutions.

Switzerland and the EU are linked via more than 120 bilateral agreements, which concern the single market and other sectors. Binding obligations to implement EU law are enshrined in the various bilateral agreements, but mostly they do not extend to take account of changes in EU law. The EU is trying to convince Switzerland to put relations into a more systematic framework with effective institutions.

Regional Cooperation and the European Economic Area (EEA)

18-03-2009

Externe Autor

Mindaugas Jurkynas (Lithuania)

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