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UK Internal Market Bill and the Withdrawal Agreement

20-11-2020

On 9 September 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) government tabled a bill in the House of Commons which would govern the country's internal market after the Brexit transition period ends. It aims to allow goods and services to flow freely between the four jurisdictions of the UK – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – replacing the rules now in place through membership of the EU's single market. Certain parts of this UK Internal Market Bill are particularly controversial, as they explicitly ...

On 9 September 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) government tabled a bill in the House of Commons which would govern the country's internal market after the Brexit transition period ends. It aims to allow goods and services to flow freely between the four jurisdictions of the UK – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – replacing the rules now in place through membership of the EU's single market. Certain parts of this UK Internal Market Bill are particularly controversial, as they explicitly contravene the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland attached to the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) that was ratified in January 2020. First, the bill provides that the UK government may authorise Northern Ireland businesses not to complete exit summary declarations when sending goods to Great Britain, thereby breaching the Union Customs Code applicable to NI. The bill would also allow the UK government to interpret, dis-apply or modify the application of the State aid rules of the European Union, which are applicable to UK measures that affect trade between Northern Ireland and the EU. Last but not least, the bill provides that UK regulations in these areas will have effect notwithstanding their incompatibility with relevant domestic or international law, including the Withdrawal Agreement. The reaction of the European Commission to the bill was immediate, calling for an extraordinary meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee, which was held the following day, 10 September. On 1 October, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to the UK for breaching its obligations under the WA, marking the beginning of an infringement process against the UK. As the UK did not reply by the end of October, the Commission may now proceed with the process, sending a Reasoned Opinion to the UK. Meanwhile, the bill has passed third reading in the House of Commons, even if in the House of Lords the government has been heavily defeated, with amendments removing the controversial clauses. While the government has indicated its intention to re-table the clauses when the bill returns to the Commons in December, it would be open to it to no longer press for their inclusion, if and when agreement is reached in the ongoing negotiations on the future EU-UK relationship.

EU-Mauritius fisheries agreement: New protocol

11-04-2018

European Parliament consent is requested for the conclusion of a new protocol associated with the EU's fisheries agreement with Mauritius. The protocol, allowing EU vessels to fish in Mauritian waters and setting out the fishing opportunities available to the EU fleet, as well as the EU financial contribution, will be the subject of a plenary vote during the April session.

European Parliament consent is requested for the conclusion of a new protocol associated with the EU's fisheries agreement with Mauritius. The protocol, allowing EU vessels to fish in Mauritian waters and setting out the fishing opportunities available to the EU fleet, as well as the EU financial contribution, will be the subject of a plenary vote during the April session.

International Agreements in Progress: Towards a fisheries agreement with Kenya

17-05-2017

In July 2016, the Council adopted a decision authorising the Commission to begin negotiations, on behalf of the EU, for the conclusion of a fisheries agreement and protocol with Kenya. The negotiations are planned for the coming months. This would be the first ever EU fisheries agreement with Kenya, and would complement the regional network of agreements previously concluded in the western Indian Ocean (Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique, Comoros and Mauritius). The agreements allow the EU fleet ...

In July 2016, the Council adopted a decision authorising the Commission to begin negotiations, on behalf of the EU, for the conclusion of a fisheries agreement and protocol with Kenya. The negotiations are planned for the coming months. This would be the first ever EU fisheries agreement with Kenya, and would complement the regional network of agreements previously concluded in the western Indian Ocean (Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique, Comoros and Mauritius). The agreements allow the EU fleet to pursue tuna migration in the waters of the countries concerned, in exchange for a financial contribution covering access to their waters and support for their fisheries sector. The EU tuna fleet in the region includes vessels from Spain, France, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Italy. While some of the activities of these vessels take place in the framework of EU fisheries agreements, they also operate, to a significant extent, in the high seas. In addition, a number of them also have access to the waters of third countries with which the EU does not have fisheries agreements, on the basis of private agreements. This is the case of Kenya's waters, where EU vessels have long had access through annual authorisations provided by the Kenyan authorities.

State of Play of EU-Mauritania Relations

23-02-2017

Mauritania, an important ally of the EU in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel, faces several inter-related development challenges: ensuring an efficient use of the revenue derived from natural resources, economic diversification and improved governance. The severity of these development challenges is increased by difficult political relations between the three main ethnic groups in the country, the dominant group being the Arab-Berber Bidhan. They constitute less than one-third of the country ...

Mauritania, an important ally of the EU in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel, faces several inter-related development challenges: ensuring an efficient use of the revenue derived from natural resources, economic diversification and improved governance. The severity of these development challenges is increased by difficult political relations between the three main ethnic groups in the country, the dominant group being the Arab-Berber Bidhan. They constitute less than one-third of the country’s population, but dominate economically and politically. The Haratin, the largest group in the country, is made up of descendants of black Africans enslaved by the Bidhan (freed or still enslaved). The third group in the country is the West Africans or Black Mauritanians. Mauritania’s post-independence history is marked by repeated attempts by this group to assert its non-Arab identity and claim for a more equitable share of political and economic power. The tension that these divisions create is a problem in itself, but they can also be appropriated by violent Islamist insurgencies in the region. The urgency of this challenge is further complicated by the likelihood of increased climate change effects that the country is currently not adequately prepared for. This study therefore discusses the main political, economic and development challenges that contemporary Mauritania is faced with, illustrating how these challenges can only be properly grasped with consideration to their historical evolution. Based on this, the study investigates the current basis for EU-Mauritania relations and suggests a select number of policy areas for consideration, as this relationship continues to evolve around issues of mutual concern such as security and development.

EU fisheries agreement with the Cook Islands

07-02-2017

The EU fisheries agreement with the Cook Islands and its implementation protocol, signed in October 2016, allow EU vessels to fish in this country’s waters for the first time. Parliament’s consent, requested for their conclusion, will be subject to a plenary vote planned for the February II session.

The EU fisheries agreement with the Cook Islands and its implementation protocol, signed in October 2016, allow EU vessels to fish in this country’s waters for the first time. Parliament’s consent, requested for their conclusion, will be subject to a plenary vote planned for the February II session.

New fisheries agreement and protocol between the EU and Liberia

02-05-2016

The first-ever EU fisheries agreement with Liberia and its associated implementation protocol were signed and entered into provisional application in December 2015. Their conclusion is now subject to approval by the European Parliament in a plenary vote.

The first-ever EU fisheries agreement with Liberia and its associated implementation protocol were signed and entered into provisional application in December 2015. Their conclusion is now subject to approval by the European Parliament in a plenary vote.

EU-Mauritania fisheries agreement: New protocol

02-05-2016

Of all the fisheries partnership agreements currently in force, the EU-Mauritania agreement is by far the most significant in economic terms. A new protocol, setting the details for implementation of the agreement over the coming four years, was signed and entered into provisional application in November 2015. Parliament's consent is now required for the conclusion of this protocol.

Of all the fisheries partnership agreements currently in force, the EU-Mauritania agreement is by far the most significant in economic terms. A new protocol, setting the details for implementation of the agreement over the coming four years, was signed and entered into provisional application in November 2015. Parliament's consent is now required for the conclusion of this protocol.

EU-Greenland fisheries agreement: Conclusion of a new protocol

07-04-2016

The Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Greenland is one of the most significant for the EU in terms of economic value, and the only such agreement with a northern country. Parliament's consent is necessary for the conclusion of the new protocol to the agreement, which sets the details for its implementation over the coming five years.

The Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Greenland is one of the most significant for the EU in terms of economic value, and the only such agreement with a northern country. Parliament's consent is necessary for the conclusion of the new protocol to the agreement, which sets the details for its implementation over the coming five years.

Workshop on "Market Economy Status for China after 2016?"

16-03-2016

Section 15 of China’s Protocol of Accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) allows importing WTO members to determine, under their national law, whether China is considered to be a market economy for the purpose of price comparability and of calculating dumping margins. Some provisions of this section expire on 11 December 2016, leaving uncertainty as to how China should be treated in antidumping investigations thereafter. The European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) organised ...

Section 15 of China’s Protocol of Accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) allows importing WTO members to determine, under their national law, whether China is considered to be a market economy for the purpose of price comparability and of calculating dumping margins. Some provisions of this section expire on 11 December 2016, leaving uncertainty as to how China should be treated in antidumping investigations thereafter. The European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) organised a workshop jointly with the Policy Department of the Directorate-General for External Policies in order to hear the views of different academic experts on both the legal and the economic implications.

Externý autor

Bernard O'CONNOR, Jean-François BELLIS, Robert SCOTT and Maurizio ZANARDI

One Year to Go: The Debate over China's Market Economy Status (MES) Heats Up

17-12-2015

Market economy status (MES) – a technical term used in antidumping investigations – has come to the top of the international agenda, bringing heated discussions on whether or not China will soon be granted this status. China argues that its WTO accession documents foresee an automatic acquisition of MES after 11 December 2016. Yet for many other WTO members, the text in question – Section 15 of China's Protocol of Accession – is subject to interpretation. The issue is sensitive for a number of reasons ...

Market economy status (MES) – a technical term used in antidumping investigations – has come to the top of the international agenda, bringing heated discussions on whether or not China will soon be granted this status. China argues that its WTO accession documents foresee an automatic acquisition of MES after 11 December 2016. Yet for many other WTO members, the text in question – Section 15 of China's Protocol of Accession – is subject to interpretation. The issue is sensitive for a number of reasons. Legally, the EU must ensure that its rules are compatible with the WTO's. But the economic aspects are complex – and potentially substantial for significant sectors of the Union's economy. The EU's ability to level the playing field for its own industrial products and imports from China depends on its ability to offset unfairly low prices of 'dumped' Chinese imports; the antidumping instruments the Union deploys to this end depend on China's MES. The issue also has political ramifications, and may well affect the Union's relationship with other countries. In general, the EU would benefit from a more elaborated assessment than has yet been undertaken, from the input of the European Parliament, and from a more coordinated approach with major trading partners.

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