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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 ...

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). ...

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 are the product of some of the more challenging issues in the negotiations. The LPF provisions seek to safeguard fair competition between the parties. A notable component are the rules on social provisions, labour, environment and climate change, often referred to as the 'trade and sustainable development' (TSD ...

The regular European Council meeting of 21-22 October 2021 dedicated significant time to discussing the rule of law and the rise in energy prices – which have become particularly salient topics at national and European level – as well as to migration. On the rule of law, EU leaders had a political discussion, underlining the importance of the rule of law for the EU, but did not adopt concrete conclusions. Regarding the recent spike in energy prices, they agreed on pursuing short-term, tailored and ...

China: Economic indicators and trade with EU

Mad-Daqqa t''Għajn 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 notion of European ‘strategic sovereignty’ is increasingly important in debates about the European Union. Given rapidly shifting global geopolitical and technology trends, and the seeming fragmentation of the multilateral order, the EU is being forced to confront its own position in international affairs. A number of concepts have been given life because of the deteriorating international scene including “European sovereignty”, “strategic autonomy”, “digital sovereignty”, “technological sovereignty ...

India: Economic indicators and trade with EU

Mad-Daqqa t''Għajn 22-04-2021

At the beginning of the century, the EU and India were growing exactly at the same path: how about today? Who is the main trade partner of India: China or the EU? And would you ever think that the EU exports to India pearls and precious stones more than optical instruments? And how much is it easy to do business in New Delhi? Find the answers to these and many more questions in our EPRS publication on ‘India: Economic indicators and trade with EU’, part of a series of infographics produced in collaboration ...

Asia matters to Europe: home to the world's largest population and fastest-growing economies, Asia is a major trade partner of the EU. Recognising this, the EU has promoted the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), established five strategic partnerships – including with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) – and negotiated or concluded free trade agreements with several Asian countries. In September 2018, the EU adopted a joint communication on 'Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks ...

On 12 December 2019, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend Regulation (EU) No 654/2014 concerning the exercise of the EU's rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules ('the Enforcement Regulation') of 15 May 2014. The Enforcement Regulation enables the EU to suspend or withdraw concessions or other obligations under international trade agreements in order to respond to breaches by third countries of international trade rules that affect the EU's commercial ...

Supply chains are increasingly international, but many of EU's trade partners fail to meet both the labour standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and international human rights norms. EU trade policy is designed to ensure that economic development complies with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, while upholding human rights and high labour standards. WTO rules require members to comply with a set of basic free trading principles, in particular national treatment and most-favoured ...