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The EU has implemented the world’s largest carbon-pricing system, the emissions trading system (ETS). While pricing emissions can encourage industrial decarbonisation, it also risks carbon leakage, whereby EU companies move their production abroad. To date, the EU has mitigated carbon leakage through free allocations to certain industries, but with rising climate ambition and higher carbon prices, the Commission seeks to phase out free allocations. In parallel, a novel carbon border adjustment mechanism ...

Since 2008, when the European Union introduced elaborate sustainable development provisions into its agreement with the Cariforum group of states, provisions on labour rights and the environment have become a central part of most of the EU's subsequent trade agreements, the one with South Korea (2011) being the first to contain a dedicated chapter. These provisions continue to evolve: for instance, recent agreements with some of the EU's developed partners, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, ...

On 21 September 2021, the Commission published its proposal for a new EU scheme of generalised preferences. 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 climate ...

The European Commission is proposing a new General Scheme of Preferences regulation to replace the current one that expires at the end of 2023. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment (IA) on the proposal finds that the IA logically links the problems, their drivers, the objectives and the policy interventions under consideration. However, the IA remains evasive on the impacts of crucial aims of the regulation -- poverty eradication and advancing sustainable development and good ...

The economies of most ASEAN countries contracted due to the turmoil caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Three of them, however, (Brunei, Myanmar/Burma and Vietnam) still managed to grow in terms of GDP, although at a much slower rate than in previous years. Despite the fact that the value of trade in goods declined by 10 % to €189 billion, the ASEAN countries remain an important partner for the EU, collectively representing 5 % of the EU’s overall trade in 2020, ranking in sixth place after ...

In this study we analyse the provisions of the EU-Mercosur trade agreement (EUMETA) in its form presented by the European Commission. Our analysis covers the potential macroeconomic effects of the agreement that are based on the analysis of the extent of trade liberalisation through the lens of a computable general simulation model, as well as more detailed analysis of trade structure, tariff structure, non-tariff protection and the trade-related provisions of the agreement including trade in services ...

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 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 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 European Commission is currently in the process of simplifying and harmonising the rules of origin for EU trade agreements, with the aim of enhancing the effectiveness of the latter. Indeed, there is a general perception that the complexity of the rules and their lack of harmonisation across EU trade agreements, together with burdensome certification procedures, may be deterring some business managers from making use of the preferential trade tariffs allowed by the agreements. Rules of origin ...