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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.

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - April 2021

21-04-2021

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

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).

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.

Ulkopuolinen laatija

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.

Public hearing with Elke König, Chair of the Single Resolution Board

19-03-2021

This note is prepared in view of an ordinary public hearing with the Chair of the Single Resolution Board (SRB), Elke König, which will take place on 23 March 2021. This briefing addresses the review of the crisis management framework; contributions to the SRF; resolvability assessments, following a European Court of Auditors report; the relationship with the United Kingdom; the EBA’s benchmarking of national insolvency regimes; and SRB publications, including the MREL dashboard for Q3, 2020, a ...

This note is prepared in view of an ordinary public hearing with the Chair of the Single Resolution Board (SRB), Elke König, which will take place on 23 March 2021. This briefing addresses the review of the crisis management framework; contributions to the SRF; resolvability assessments, following a European Court of Auditors report; the relationship with the United Kingdom; the EBA’s benchmarking of national insolvency regimes; and SRB publications, including the MREL dashboard for Q3, 2020, a Communication on the permission regime for the reduction of eligible liabilities, and access to financial market infrastructures in resolution.

The European Union and regional economic integration: Creating collective public goods – Past, present and future

09-03-2021

EPRS invites leading experts and commentators to share their thinking and insights on important features of the European Union as a political and economic system. In this paper, Iain Begg, Professorial Research Fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE), reflects on the distinctive characteristics of the EU as the world's leading exemplar of regional economic integration, and its unique experience since the 1950s in generating collective public goods for its Member States as a foundation for ...

EPRS invites leading experts and commentators to share their thinking and insights on important features of the European Union as a political and economic system. In this paper, Iain Begg, Professorial Research Fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE), reflects on the distinctive characteristics of the EU as the world's leading exemplar of regional economic integration, and its unique experience since the 1950s in generating collective public goods for its Member States as a foundation for the continent's collective prosperity.

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.

EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement: An analytical overview

02-02-2021

This EPRS publication seeks to provide an analytical overview of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK), which was agreed between the two parties on 24 December and signed by them on 30 December 2020, and has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2021. The European Parliament is currently considering the Agreement with a view to voting on giving its consent to conclusion by the Council on behalf of the Union. The paper analyses many ...

This EPRS publication seeks to provide an analytical overview of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK), which was agreed between the two parties on 24 December and signed by them on 30 December 2020, and has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2021. The European Parliament is currently considering the Agreement with a view to voting on giving its consent to conclusion by the Council on behalf of the Union. The paper analyses many of the areas covered in the agreement, including the institutional framework and arrangements for dispute settlement, trade in goods, services and investment, digital trade, energy, the level playing field, transport, social security coordination and visas for short-term visits, fisheries, law enforcement and judicial coordination in criminal matters, and participation in Union programmes. It looks at the main provisions of the Agreement in each area, setting them in context, and also gives an overview of the two parties' published negotiating positions in the respective areas.

Tulevat tapahtumat

07-09-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: What is the future of (European) sovereignty?
Muu tapahtuma -
EPRS
08-09-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: Statistics, Data and Trust: Why figures matter [...]
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21-09-2021
EPRS online Book Talk with David Harley: Matters of Record: Inside European Politics
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