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EU trade policy: Frequently asked questions

15-10-2019

This paper seeks to serve as a key resource for policy-makers who need to understand complex issues related to international trade quickly. It also outlines the key academic debates and issues, and provides references to further resources that could offer useful support to the work of policy-makers in the European Parliament. It seeks to provide immediate answers to the most commonly asked questions related to EU trade policy: from the evolution and scope of EU common commercial policy to the role ...

This paper seeks to serve as a key resource for policy-makers who need to understand complex issues related to international trade quickly. It also outlines the key academic debates and issues, and provides references to further resources that could offer useful support to the work of policy-makers in the European Parliament. It seeks to provide immediate answers to the most commonly asked questions related to EU trade policy: from the evolution and scope of EU common commercial policy to the role of different EU institutions and the economics of trade. It includes explanations of key trade concepts. In addition, the paper covers the procedures for the conclusion of international trade agreements, types of trade relationship, and the specific characteristics of EU legal instruments in the area of trade. Lastly, it addresses the issues of trade and sustainable development, which have grown into a key area of concern for Parliament.

President Trump's trade and international policies

31-08-2018

US President Donald Trump has pushed ahead in recent months with his controversial policies on trade and defence, which critics say could undermine the global rules-based order and create new uncertainties. The European Union's trade spat with the US eased somewhat following a meeting of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker with Trump in July. However, the NATO summit earlier that month and Trump's subsequent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin did little to reassure the EU ...

US President Donald Trump has pushed ahead in recent months with his controversial policies on trade and defence, which critics say could undermine the global rules-based order and create new uncertainties. The European Union's trade spat with the US eased somewhat following a meeting of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker with Trump in July. However, the NATO summit earlier that month and Trump's subsequent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin did little to reassure the EU about the stability of transatlantic relations. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by international think tanks on President Trump's policy moves, focusing on relations with Europe, Russia, China and trade. It does not cover reports on Iran, North Korea and the US domestic situation, which will be topics of future issues of What think tanks are thinking.

International trade and the G7 [What Think Tanks are thinking]

29-06-2018

The escalating trade conflict between the United States and other countries and regions, such as China and the European Union, coupled with a capricious outcome of the recent summit of the world’s seven most industrialised economies (G7) have raised a question mark over the US’s continued commitment to the stability of the post-Cold War, rules-based international economic and political order. The row, which is already affecting stock and bond markets, started when US President Donald Trump imposed ...

The escalating trade conflict between the United States and other countries and regions, such as China and the European Union, coupled with a capricious outcome of the recent summit of the world’s seven most industrialised economies (G7) have raised a question mark over the US’s continued commitment to the stability of the post-Cold War, rules-based international economic and political order. The row, which is already affecting stock and bond markets, started when US President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports this year, under his ‘America First’ policy. Now that China and the EU have applied retaliatory tariffs, President Trump threatens to erect more trade barriers, for example against EU-made cars. This note offers links to a series of recent commentaries and reports from major international think tanks and research institutes on the trade conflict, the outcome of the G7 meeting and the future of the international economic order. More reports on international trade can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are thinking' published in March 2018.

THE IMPACT OF BREXIT ON THE EU ENERGY SYSTEM

15-11-2017

This study provided by Policy Department A at the request of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) shows that the energy-system related impact of Brexit on EU citizens and companies will be limited. The EU will be able to complete its market, achieve its climate and energy targets and maintain supply security. It appears likely (although not guaranteed) that the UK will continue to maintain sensible environmental policies and safeguard the rights of EU companies ...

This study provided by Policy Department A at the request of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) shows that the energy-system related impact of Brexit on EU citizens and companies will be limited. The EU will be able to complete its market, achieve its climate and energy targets and maintain supply security. It appears likely (although not guaranteed) that the UK will continue to maintain sensible environmental policies and safeguard the rights of EU companies in the UK. However, special attention on the impact of Brexit on the Irish energy system is warranted.

Külső szerző

Gustav FREDRIKSSON, Alexander ROTH Simone TAGLIAPIETRA, Georg ZACHMANN

Wholesale roaming regulation: A precondition for 'roam like at home'

06-12-2016

In 2015 the Council and European Parliament agreed in Regulation 2015/2120 that on 15 June 2017 roaming charges for mobile phone use would be abolished in the EU. After that date, 'roam like at home' (RLAH) would become a reality for all Europeans. The regulation did not, however, address the wholesale roaming market, on account of the need to investigate market conditions in more depth. A review for the European Commission concluded that national wholesale roaming markets are not working well and ...

In 2015 the Council and European Parliament agreed in Regulation 2015/2120 that on 15 June 2017 roaming charges for mobile phone use would be abolished in the EU. After that date, 'roam like at home' (RLAH) would become a reality for all Europeans. The regulation did not, however, address the wholesale roaming market, on account of the need to investigate market conditions in more depth. A review for the European Commission concluded that national wholesale roaming markets are not working well and need regulatory intervention. It therefore proposed a regulation establishing the maximum level of wholesale roaming charges that telecoms operators can charge each other, to take effect from 15 June 2017. Stakeholder reactions are divided: while consumers would enjoy free roaming, operators are worried about recovering costs at wholesale level. On 29 November, Parliament's Industry Committee voted for a reduction in the call and data wholesale caps proposed by the Commission. A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html

Solar Energy Policy in the EU and the Member States, from the Perspective of the Petitions Received

10-06-2016

Upon request by the PETI Committee, the Policy Department on Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned the present study in order to assess a series of petitions received in relation to solar energy policies in Member States and their compatibility with EU laws and policies. The petitions examined raise three main concerns, i.e. policy risk in support systems, self-consumption and industrial policy in EU Member States, notably Spain, Belgium, Germany and Italy. The analysis concludes ...

Upon request by the PETI Committee, the Policy Department on Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned the present study in order to assess a series of petitions received in relation to solar energy policies in Member States and their compatibility with EU laws and policies. The petitions examined raise three main concerns, i.e. policy risk in support systems, self-consumption and industrial policy in EU Member States, notably Spain, Belgium, Germany and Italy. The analysis concludes that renewables’ support policies should be stable and avoid frequent or retro-active changes; that the regulated extension of self-consumption is accompanied by measures to ensure that “prosumers” contribute to financing grid costs and other costs; and that industrial policy for renewables is stable and predictable.

Külső szerző

Jenny WINKLER and Mario RAGAWITZ (Fraunhofer ISI)

The Transatlantic Trade and investment Partnership (TTIP): Challenges and Opportunities for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection in the Area of Motor Vehicles

07-07-2015

The expected effects of TTIP on the European automotive industry will be significant, but depend strongly on the scope of trade liberalisation. In the field of motor vehicles TTIP should go far beyond the degree of trade liberalization reached in previous trade agreements between the EU and other countries. Tariffs should be eliminated and also non-tariff barriers (NTBs) reduced. Regulatory cooperation to reduce NTBs is promising particularly in the automotive industry. Beside harmonisation, international ...

The expected effects of TTIP on the European automotive industry will be significant, but depend strongly on the scope of trade liberalisation. In the field of motor vehicles TTIP should go far beyond the degree of trade liberalization reached in previous trade agreements between the EU and other countries. Tariffs should be eliminated and also non-tariff barriers (NTBs) reduced. Regulatory cooperation to reduce NTBs is promising particularly in the automotive industry. Beside harmonisation, international standards and cooperation on new technologies, another promising approach is mutually recognition of aspects of regulation based on sound evidence of the equivalence of outcomes. However, the challenge is twofold: identifying unnecessarily trade distorting NTBs while at the same time respecting EU regulatory sovereignty, democratic legitimacy, and the high level of EU standards in passenger and environmental safety.

Külső szerző

IW Köln

Proceedings of the Workshop on "Countdown to the Vilnius Summit: The EU's Trade Relations with Moldova and the South Caucasus"

15-01-2014

Proceedings of the workshop on "Countdown to the Vilnius Summit: The EU's Trade Relations with Moldova and the South Caucasus" held on 5 November 2013 in Brussels. The present document is the compilation of the background notes and tables prepared by the experts invited.

Proceedings of the workshop on "Countdown to the Vilnius Summit: The EU's Trade Relations with Moldova and the South Caucasus" held on 5 November 2013 in Brussels. The present document is the compilation of the background notes and tables prepared by the experts invited.

Külső szerző

Michael EMERSON (Centre for European Policy Studies - CEPS, Belgium)

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.

Külső szerző

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)

Increase of Norway's import duties for some agricultural products: impact and reactions

27-06-2013

Traditionally a strong supporter of its agricultural sector, Norway has since 1 January 2013 been applying new ad valorem duties on imports of certain types of cheese, sheep and beef meat, resulting in sharp increases to respectively 277%, 429%, and 344%. This move was preceded by a new 72% import duty on hortensia flowers in September 2012, causing turbulence in EU-Norway relations, generally close and smooth.

Traditionally a strong supporter of its agricultural sector, Norway has since 1 January 2013 been applying new ad valorem duties on imports of certain types of cheese, sheep and beef meat, resulting in sharp increases to respectively 277%, 429%, and 344%. This move was preceded by a new 72% import duty on hortensia flowers in September 2012, causing turbulence in EU-Norway relations, generally close and smooth.

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