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World Trade Organization TRIPS waiver to tackle coronavirus

16-09-2021

The coronavirus pandemic has rekindled the global debate on whether the multilateral trade regime for intellectual property rights (IPR) protection limits access to essential medical products. Despite embedded flexibilities in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), India and South Africa, co-sponsored by a large number of developing countries, submitted an initial proposal for a temporary waiver in response to Covid-19 in October 2020, ...

The coronavirus pandemic has rekindled the global debate on whether the multilateral trade regime for intellectual property rights (IPR) protection limits access to essential medical products. Despite embedded flexibilities in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), India and South Africa, co-sponsored by a large number of developing countries, submitted an initial proposal for a temporary waiver in response to Covid-19 in October 2020, followed by a revised proposal in May 2021, which continues to divide opinion. The US administration voiced its support for a vaccines waiver. EU leaders indicated an openness to discussion, while putting forward an alternative plan with a focus on limiting export restrictions, compulsory licensing and using the existing TRIPS flexibilities.

Trends in Chinese reporting on the European Union: Xinhua's coverage of EU affairs, 2012-2021

10-09-2021

The main Chinese news service, Xinhua, has steadily expanded its coverage on the European Union over the past decade. The main challenges facing the Union have featured strongly, from the refugee crisis to Brexit to the impact of Covid 19. The tone of the coverage in this period has been neutral, rather than negative, and has not become more critical during the pandemic. Internal EU policies are often put in a favourable light, although internal divisions also feature in Xinhua's reporting. Xinhua ...

The main Chinese news service, Xinhua, has steadily expanded its coverage on the European Union over the past decade. The main challenges facing the Union have featured strongly, from the refugee crisis to Brexit to the impact of Covid 19. The tone of the coverage in this period has been neutral, rather than negative, and has not become more critical during the pandemic. Internal EU policies are often put in a favourable light, although internal divisions also feature in Xinhua's reporting. Xinhua tends to emphasise EU cooperation with China and EU divisions with the United States. It also criticises EU sanctions and human rights complaints, both about China – for example on Xinjiang and Hong Kong – and about countries including Russia and Turkey. These trends are in line with China's long-standing stated preference for the EU to become a pole in a multipolar world order that is able to balance US power, despite its disapproval of the EU's pursuit of human rights issues. Xinhua's coverage emphasises both the opportunities and the challenges facing European integration. This dual approach tends to support the view that China is ambiguous about the EU's ability to become a more influential and more useful strategic partner on the world stage. This briefing is based on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of Chinese-language online articles by the state-affiliated Xinhua News Agency since 2012, as well as a selection of secondary sources.

China: Economic indicators and trade with EU

08-09-2021

The Covid-19 pandemic contributed to the continuous slowdown of China's economy, from two-digit growth rates witnessed in the past to a 'new normal' growth rate of 'only' 5.7% on average under the current five-year plan (2016-2020). To what extent does this slowdown affect China's public finances and other macroeconomic indicators? How has EU trade with China developed during the last decade? How important is the EU for China in terms of trade? And what about China's trade relevance for the EU? Has ...

The Covid-19 pandemic contributed to the continuous slowdown of China's economy, from two-digit growth rates witnessed in the past to a 'new normal' growth rate of 'only' 5.7% on average under the current five-year plan (2016-2020). To what extent does this slowdown affect China's public finances and other macroeconomic indicators? How has EU trade with China developed during the last decade? How important is the EU for China in terms of trade? And what about China's trade relevance for the EU? Has the huge trade imbalance in goods trade between China and the EU narrowed in recent years? How intensive is trade in services between the EU and China? What are the EU's main export items to China? How does China's export basket look like? You can find the answers to these and other questions in our EPRS publication on China produced in collaboration with the European University Institute's GlobalStat on the world's main economies. This is an updated edition of an ‘At a Glance’ note published in December 2019.

EU-India trade relations: assessment and perspectives

06-09-2021

Following the EU-India summit in May 2021, talks on both an EU-India trade and an investment agreement have resumed. This analysis provides background on where EU-India economic relations stand and why it is important to maintain momentum following this breakthrough, despite a somewhat unpromising domestic political environment in India. This new impetus largely reflects a transformed geopolitical landscape since the last round of EU-India talks were abandoned in 2013. The increased tension between ...

Following the EU-India summit in May 2021, talks on both an EU-India trade and an investment agreement have resumed. This analysis provides background on where EU-India economic relations stand and why it is important to maintain momentum following this breakthrough, despite a somewhat unpromising domestic political environment in India. This new impetus largely reflects a transformed geopolitical landscape since the last round of EU-India talks were abandoned in 2013. The increased tension between India and China, as well as the EU’s intent to reduce its reliance on Chinese manufacturing have created the conditions for changes in policy by both parties. However, many of the issues that bedeviled the 2007-2013 negotiations remain unresolved. In this analysis, we provide an overview of EU-India trade and investment relations as well as the major topics in these negotiations. The impact of key global initiatives on climate change and WTO reform that will shape the negotiations is also briefly discussed. Based on this analysis, we discuss three potential ways forward for EU-India trade and investment negotiations: a comprehensive agreement similar to that reached between the EU and Vietnam; a limited investment deal primarily focused on manufacturing; and a reinforced status quo with trade and investment relations growing organically under the existing multilateral umbrella.

Külső szerző

Niclas Poitiers, Suman Bery, Sonali Chowdhry, Alicia García-Herrero

Regulating targeted and behavioural advertising in digital services. How to ensure users’ informed consent

31-08-2021

The study addresses the regulation of targeted and behavioural advertising in the context of digital services. Marketing methods and technologies deployed in behavioural and target advertising are presented. The EU law on consent to the processing of personal data is analysed, in connection with advertising practices. Ways of improving the quality of consent are discussed as well as ways of restricting its scope as a legal basis for the processing of personal data. This study is commissioned by ...

The study addresses the regulation of targeted and behavioural advertising in the context of digital services. Marketing methods and technologies deployed in behavioural and target advertising are presented. The EU law on consent to the processing of personal data is analysed, in connection with advertising practices. Ways of improving the quality of consent are discussed as well as ways of restricting its scope as a legal basis for the processing of personal data. This study is commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee...

Regulating targeted and behavioural advertising in digital services. How to ensure users’ informed consent

30-08-2021

The study addresses the regulation of targeted and behavioural advertising in the context of digital services. Marketing methods and technologies deployed in behavioural and target advertising are presented. The EU law on consent to the processing of personal data is analysed, in connection with advertising practices. Ways of improving the quality of consent are discussed as well as ways of restricting its scope as a legal basis for the processing of personal data. This study is commissioned by ...

The study addresses the regulation of targeted and behavioural advertising in the context of digital services. Marketing methods and technologies deployed in behavioural and target advertising are presented. The EU law on consent to the processing of personal data is analysed, in connection with advertising practices. Ways of improving the quality of consent are discussed as well as ways of restricting its scope as a legal basis for the processing of personal data. This study is commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee.

Regulation of the digital sector: EU-US Explainer

28-07-2021

With online platforms and markets enmeshed in our societies and economies, the need to revisit and update existing digital regulations is becoming increasingly apparent. The debate around these reforms in the US, the EU and elsewhere touches on fundamental questions of privacy, transparency and free speech and the dynamic between private firms and governmental oversight is complex. While online platforms play a salient role in daily life, both the US and the EU continue to operate with regulations ...

With online platforms and markets enmeshed in our societies and economies, the need to revisit and update existing digital regulations is becoming increasingly apparent. The debate around these reforms in the US, the EU and elsewhere touches on fundamental questions of privacy, transparency and free speech and the dynamic between private firms and governmental oversight is complex. While online platforms play a salient role in daily life, both the US and the EU continue to operate with regulations dating back over a generation. As significant challenges regarding illegal and harmful online content and moderation liability continue to have real world effects today, both the EU and the US are currently considering precedent-setting updates.

Külső szerző

European Parliament Liaison Office in Washington DC

Bilateral trade: EU-US Explainer

28-07-2021

The EU and the US are each other's biggest economic partners, but have not yet been able to conclude a free trade agreement. Politically sensitive bilateral trade issues include US access to EU agricultural markets, EU access to US public procurement markets, data privacy regulations, climate policies, and taxation and regulation of major − chiefly American − digital service providers in the EU market.

The EU and the US are each other's biggest economic partners, but have not yet been able to conclude a free trade agreement. Politically sensitive bilateral trade issues include US access to EU agricultural markets, EU access to US public procurement markets, data privacy regulations, climate policies, and taxation and regulation of major − chiefly American − digital service providers in the EU market.

Külső szerző

European Parliament Liaison Office in Washington DC

Review of dual-use export controls

20-07-2021

Certain goods and technologies have legitimate civilian applications but can also be used for military purposes; so-called 'dual-use' goods are subject to the European Union's export control regime. The regime has just been revised, mainly to take account of significant technological developments, increase transparency and create a more level playing field among EU Member States. The proposed regulation will recast the regulation in force since 2009. Among other elements, the proposal explicitly ...

Certain goods and technologies have legitimate civilian applications but can also be used for military purposes; so-called 'dual-use' goods are subject to the European Union's export control regime. The regime has just been revised, mainly to take account of significant technological developments, increase transparency and create a more level playing field among EU Member States. The proposed regulation will recast the regulation in force since 2009. Among other elements, the proposal explicitly defines cyber-surveillance technology as dual-use technology and introduces human rights violations as an explicit justification for export control. It also includes provisions to control emerging technologies. The proposed regulation introduces greater transparency into dual-use export control by increasing the level of detail Member States will have to provide on exports, licences, licence denials and prohibitions. On 17 January 2018, based on the INTA committee's report on the legislative proposal, the European Parliament adopted its position for trilogue negotiations. For its part, the Council adopted its negotiating mandate on 5 June 2019, and on the basis of this mandate, the Council Presidency began negotiations with the European Parliament's delegation on 21 October 2019. Trilogue negotiations ended on 9 November 2020, with agreement on a final compromise text. Endorsed by the INTA committee on 30 November, the Parliament formally voted on the text in plenary on 25 March 2021. The Regulation was published in the Official Journal on 11 June 2021 and enters into force on 8 September 2021. Seventh edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

EU-Swiss trade relations and the institutional framework agreement

19-07-2021

On 26 May 2021, the Federal Council of Switzerland (Swiss executive authority) announced that the country will not formally sign the institutional framework agreement (IFA) agreed at political level with the European Union (EU) in 2018, thereby ending the negotiation process. The objective of the IFA was to create a horizontal governance framework that would have covered five major EU-Swiss trade-related bilateral agreements signed in 1999, part of the 'Bilaterals I' package. It also provided for ...

On 26 May 2021, the Federal Council of Switzerland (Swiss executive authority) announced that the country will not formally sign the institutional framework agreement (IFA) agreed at political level with the European Union (EU) in 2018, thereby ending the negotiation process. The objective of the IFA was to create a horizontal governance framework that would have covered five major EU-Swiss trade-related bilateral agreements signed in 1999, part of the 'Bilaterals I' package. It also provided for dynamic alignment of standards in the domains covered by the IFA, a dispute settlement mechanism with jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU on EU law, and State aid rules. The EU considers that Switzerland does not respect all of its commitments in the existing agreements, which give the country access to parts of the EU's single market; it perceives the current situation as unbalanced, partly due to the absence of dispute settlement mechanisms in the existing agreements. In addition, the dynamic alignment and State aid rules envisaged in the IFA would have enhanced fair competition between EU and Swiss businesses ('level playing field'). Switzerland, although it aims to 'deepen' its relations with the EU by means of new sectoral agreements, is concerned by the potential application of the EU Citizens' Right Directive, as well as the potential future removal of the labour market exemptions provided by the IFA protocols. To a lesser extent, it is also concerned with the IFA's State aid rules. Switzerland consequently requested 'explicit clarification' from the EU on these points in 2019, then resumed talks in 2021. According to the European Commission and European Parliament, 'the door is always open', but new agreements are unlikely to be signed without a framework agreement. The Commission has also emphasised that the upgrading of existing agreements – necessary whenever new EU standards are adopted to maintain their applicability – will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to prevent unintended effects. Medical device equivalence, previously covered by provisions of the EU-Swiss Mutual Recognition Agreement, is the first no longer to be applied as a consequence of changes in EU standards.

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EPRS online Book Talk with David Harley: Inside the room - Shaping Europe, 1992-2010
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