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The economies of Japan and of the EU followed similar trends in 2020, a year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic. Both economies faced shrinking GDP, growing unemployment, rising public debt, while inflation stayed moderate and the exchange rate remained stable. Although there was a fallback in trade between the two blocks, the EU ranked as third on the list of top trade partners of Japan (trade in goods), while the latter was the seventh biggest trade partner of the EU. Mechanical appliances and electrical ...

The growing importance of global supply chains has fundamentally changed the way the global economy and goods manufacturing are organised. While trade conducted through global supply chains has fallen somewhat as a share of total trade since the 2008-2010 global financial and economic crisis, more than two-thirds of international trade still involves transactions made possible by such chains. The EU is profoundly involved in these production chains, more so than most other countries, and significantly ...

The future of EU-US relations

Em síntese 30-09-2021

In December 2020, the European Commission and the High Representative/Vice-President (HR/VP) published an ambitious agenda for transatlantic cooperation with the incoming US administration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. This was followed by an EU-US Summit on 15 June 2021, which saw the launch of new formats for EU-US collaboration. Yet unexpected foreign policy developments since then have raised questions about the partnership's future. Parliament is expected to debate and vote on a report on ...

Two decades after the entry into force of the General Product Safety Directive, the internal market is witnessing an increasing presence of products made with the use of or involving new technologies, online marketplaces are mushrooming, and a growing amount of products are entering the internal market from outside the European Union through these online marketplaces. Since the General Product Safety Directive does not have any provisions to guarantee that these products are safe for use, there are ...

International trade influences biodiversity through scale, composition and technique effects. Land and sea use change alter natural habitats, while emissions from production and transportation contribute to climate change. Among exports, animal-based agri-food products are particularly land-intensive. Trade policy can play a role in tackling these problems through stronger enforcement of biodiversity-related provisions in trade agreements. The EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 commits to better assessing ...

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 ...

These briefings discuss how free trade agreements (FTAs) can help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It provides an overview of FTAs with provisions supporting SMEs internationalise. Based on a literature review, we also discuss 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. Following previous literature on the topic, we distinguish ...

This briefing discusses how free trade agreements (FTAs) can help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It provides an overview of the FTAs that the EU has concluded, along with a classification and a discussion of key provisions on and for SMEs. Several pioneering agreements are studied more closely, including the EU-Japan, EU-Canada, EU-Mercosur and EU-UK agreements. To conclude, the briefing assesses SME awareness of FTA chapters and analyses the related benefits.

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.

This briefing discusses the actions that the EU could take to properly tackle the challenges that SMEs are currently facing. Several initiatives have already been launched, such as the EU Helpdesk, the Access2Markets Platform and the CTEO. The pros and cons of these initiatives are outlined, and examples and a general assessment are provided. In a second step, several actions of Member States and commerce organisations are highlighted and a detailed classification provided. In a final step, recommendations ...