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On 21 September 2021, the Commission published its proposal for a new EU scheme of generalised preferences (GSP). Two of the current scheme's three components are due to expire at the end of 2023, which would deprive developing countries of a vital opportunity to trade under preferential terms with the EU. Therefore, renewing the scheme appears to be both a necessity and an opportunity to strengthen its conditionality in the light of lessons learned and the increased urgency for dealing with the ...

The current partnership between sub-Saharan African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP) and the EU (the Cotonou Partnership Agreement) has a provision making it possible for the EU to negotiate different economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with regional ACP sub-groups. This provision was needed for the partnership to be aligned with the World Trade Organization's rules. Negotiations for an EPA with the partner states of the East African Community (EAC) – at the time: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania ...

Stresses and contradictions in the Chinese economy in the early 2020s

Λεπτομερής ανάλυση 20-05-2022

EPRS invites leading experts and commentators to share their thinking and insights on important topics of relevance to debate in the European institutions. In this paper, Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the German Marshall Fund of the United States, looks at the current state of the Chinese economy, and at the various factors likely to influence its evolution in the coming years. He argues that Chinese growth will slow to below the levels ...

This study looks at the European Commission’s proposal for a new GSP Regulation from human rights and sustainable development perspectives. It focuses on proposed changes to the conditionality provisions with their linked monitoring and dialogue processes that aim to promote human rights, sustainable development and good governance in the beneficiary countries. The Commission’s proposal is not revolutionary as it foresees retention of the three existing arrangements (Standard GSP, GSP+ and EBA). ...

This briefing discusses 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. Second, based on 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.

State of play of EU-Australia FTA talks

Εν συντομία 02-12-2020

In May 2018, the Council authorised the Commission to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) with Australia. Negotiations were officially launched in June 2018. Between July 2018 and September 2020, eight negotiation rounds took place. The first chapter of the prospective EU-Australia FTA, concluded at the technical level, is on small and medium-sized enterprises. The ninth negotiation round started on 30 November 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 ...

The European Union aims to ensure that road transport rules are applied effectively and without discrimination. The current rules governing the access to the international market for coach and bus services appear to have been only partly effective in promoting this mode of transport. There are still differences in rules on access to national markets, differences in openness of national markets, diverse national access arrangements and discrimination in access to terminals in some EU countries. In ...

With the European Parliament elections set for May 2019, the 21st EU-China Summit has been advanced, to be held in Brussels on 9 April 2019, only nine months after the previous one. The 2018 summit's joint statement captured a broad range of deliverables that had been achieved over a three-year period, since the EU and China had failed to agree on joint statements in 2016 and 2017. Considering that not even the short-term commitments on the trade and investment agenda from 2018 have been met, that ...

Following the signature of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in July 2018, and the conclusion of the ratification procedures by both partners at the end of 2018, the agreement entered into force on 1 February 2019. The agreement is the EU's largest bilateral trade agreement to date. It establishes a free trade area with a combined market of around 640 million consumers, accounting for roughly a third of the world's gross domestic product (GDP). The European Commission's analysis of ...