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State of play of EU-Australia FTA talks

02-12-2020

In May 2018, the Council authorised the Commission to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) with Australia. Negotiations were officially launched in June 2018. Between July 2018 and September 2020, eight negotiation rounds took place. The first chapter of the prospective EU-Australia FTA, concluded at the technical level, is on small and medium-sized enterprises. The ninth negotiation round started on 30 November 2020.

In May 2018, the Council authorised the Commission to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) with Australia. Negotiations were officially launched in June 2018. Between July 2018 and September 2020, eight negotiation rounds took place. The first chapter of the prospective EU-Australia FTA, concluded at the technical level, is on small and medium-sized enterprises. The ninth negotiation round started on 30 November 2020.

WTO e-commerce negotiations

05-10-2020

While e-commerce represents an increasing portion of the economy, international regulation of e-commerce is lagging behind. In 2017, the WTO Ministerial Conference issued a Joint Statement Initiative signalling the intention to launch plurilateral e-commerce talks. In January 2019, in the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos, 76 of 164 WTO members, among them the EU, Australia, China, Japan, and the USA launched e commerce negotiations. Members seek a high-standard outcome building on WTO ...

While e-commerce represents an increasing portion of the economy, international regulation of e-commerce is lagging behind. In 2017, the WTO Ministerial Conference issued a Joint Statement Initiative signalling the intention to launch plurilateral e-commerce talks. In January 2019, in the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos, 76 of 164 WTO members, among them the EU, Australia, China, Japan, and the USA launched e commerce negotiations. Members seek a high-standard outcome building on WTO agreements, but the legal form of the deal is not yet clear. Participants wish to modernise trade rules to fit the digital age and show that the WTO's negotiating function can deliver. Key issues in the negotiations include e-contracts and e-signatures, data flows, data localisation requirements, disclosure of source code, and customs duties on electronic transmissions. While some divergences persist, in particular on data flows and privacy, the talks are progressing with a view to deliver a consolidated draft text by the end of 2020.

Mednarodni sporazumi v teku: Sporazum o strateškem partnerstvu med EU in Japonsko - Okvir za spodbujanje skupnih vrednot

22-01-2019

Evropska unija in Japonska temeljita na istih vrednotah, kot so demokracija, tržno gospodarstvo, človekove pravice in dostojanstvo, svoboda, enakost in pravna država. Zaradi vse bolj nepopustljivih sosednjih držav se obe osredotočata tudi na varnostna vprašanja. Evropska unija je sprejela globalno strategijo, ki kot prednostni strateški nalogi določa varnost in obrambo ter vključuje sklepe o okrepljenem varnostnem sodelovanju EU v Aziji in z njo. Japonska je reformirala svojo varnostno politiko, ...

Evropska unija in Japonska temeljita na istih vrednotah, kot so demokracija, tržno gospodarstvo, človekove pravice in dostojanstvo, svoboda, enakost in pravna država. Zaradi vse bolj nepopustljivih sosednjih držav se obe osredotočata tudi na varnostna vprašanja. Evropska unija je sprejela globalno strategijo, ki kot prednostni strateški nalogi določa varnost in obrambo ter vključuje sklepe o okrepljenem varnostnem sodelovanju EU v Aziji in z njo. Japonska je reformirala svojo varnostno politiko, da bi proaktivno prispevala k miru. Da bi poglobili odnose, sta Evropska unija in Japonska julija 2018 podpisali zavezujoč sporazum o strateškem partnerstvu, ki bo začel veljati, potem ko ga bodo ratificirale vse države članice, sočasno pa so potekala tudi pogajanja o sporazumu o gospodarskem partnerstvu. Sporazum o strateškem partnerstvu s spodbujanjem političnega in sektorskega sodelovanja ter skupnih ukrepov, ki naj bi se izvajali na več kot 40 področjih skupnega interesa, predstavlja okvir za krepitev vsestranskega partnerstva. Ko bo začel veljati sporazum, bo začelo bolje delovati tudi strateško partnerstvo med EU in Japonsko. Evropski uniji in Japonski bo omogočal spodbujati skupne vrednote, kot so človekove pravice in načela pravne države, mednarodni sistem, ki temelji na pravilih, svetovni mir in stabilnost. Poleg tega bo lahko s tem sporazumom sodelovanje na področju varnosti med EU in Japonsko doseglo svoj polni potencial.

A global compact on migration: Placing human rights at the heart of migration management

11-01-2019

The global flow of refugees and migrants poses challenges, opportunities and obligations for countries around the world. At the very heart of the debate on migration management is how to ensure that the different interests and needs are addressed within a strong human rights framework. The United Nations (UN) is investigating the issue in great depth, and one of the main outcomes of the UN General Assembly in 2016 was a declaration demanding greater international cooperation on managing migration ...

The global flow of refugees and migrants poses challenges, opportunities and obligations for countries around the world. At the very heart of the debate on migration management is how to ensure that the different interests and needs are addressed within a strong human rights framework. The United Nations (UN) is investigating the issue in great depth, and one of the main outcomes of the UN General Assembly in 2016 was a declaration demanding greater international cooperation on managing migration. This declaration was widely endorsed, including by the European Union (EU). As a result, two global compacts have been adopted in 2018, for refugees and for other migrants; this briefing will focus on the latter. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN migration agency in charge of the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, these compacts 'provide the opportunity to move ahead in strengthening the norms, principles, rules and decision-making processes that will allow for more effective international cooperation in responding to what is a defining issue'. Providing continued institutional support to address these issues and implement the outcomes of the global compacts will be a challenge. This an updated version of a briefing from December 2017, jointly authored by Joanna Apap, Daniela Adorna Diaz and Gonzalo Urbina Trevino. See also our infographic, Migration flows to the EU, PE 621.862.

The global compact on refugees: Strengthening international cooperation to ease the plight of refugees in the world

11-01-2019

Recent large-scale flows of refugees and migrants have brought to the world's attention more forcefully than ever the plight of persons who are forced to flee their homes because of war, insecurity or persecution. They have also exposed how ill-prepared the international community has been to deal with this challenge and how uneven the distribution of the burden of caring for such people has been among countries. In 2016, to enhance preparedness for refugee crises, improve the situation of refugees ...

Recent large-scale flows of refugees and migrants have brought to the world's attention more forcefully than ever the plight of persons who are forced to flee their homes because of war, insecurity or persecution. They have also exposed how ill-prepared the international community has been to deal with this challenge and how uneven the distribution of the burden of caring for such people has been among countries. In 2016, to enhance preparedness for refugee crises, improve the situation of refugees and relieve the burden on host societies, the United Nations (UN) member states convened in New York and adopted a declaration paving the way for a non-binding international compact on refugees. They annexed to this declaration a comprehensive refugee response framework that spelled out a series of short- and longer-term measures to address refugee crises. The framework has been applied in several pilot countries and the lessons learnt fed into a global compact on refugees. The compact was drafted by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) following broad consultations with various stakeholders, and its definitive version was adopted by the UN General Assembly with a large majority on 17 December 2018. The global compact focuses on international-, regional- and national-level mechanisms for achieving a fairer distribution of the responsibilities related to refugees, and on areas where action can be improved. It has been criticised, among other things, for its non-binding character and for excluding victims of natural disasters from its scope. This is an updated edition of a Briefing published in June 2018.

International Climate Negotiations - Issues at stake in view of the COP 24 UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice and beyond

05-11-2018

This study provides an overview of the contents of the Paris Agreement as well as background information. It summarises the further negotiation process under the UNFCCC, related international developments as well as the key issues ahead of COP 24 in Katowice in December 2018, during which the rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement are expected to be finalised. This study was provided by the Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food ...

This study provides an overview of the contents of the Paris Agreement as well as background information. It summarises the further negotiation process under the UNFCCC, related international developments as well as the key issues ahead of COP 24 in Katowice in December 2018, during which the rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement are expected to be finalised. This study was provided by the Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

Zunanji avtor

Henrik NEIER, Judith NEYER, Klaus RADUNSKY, Environment Agency Austria

North Korean human rights abuses

22-02-2018

In February 2018, the world was exposed to cheerful images of Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, smiling and shaking hands with the South Korean president Moon Jae-in, and of North and South Koreans marching together under the same flag, while an all-female squad of cheerleaders dressed in red occasionally upstaged the athletes at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Against this charm offensive, a few dozen kilometres north, far from the spotlight, up to 120 000 political prisoners continued experiencing ...

In February 2018, the world was exposed to cheerful images of Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, smiling and shaking hands with the South Korean president Moon Jae-in, and of North and South Koreans marching together under the same flag, while an all-female squad of cheerleaders dressed in red occasionally upstaged the athletes at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Against this charm offensive, a few dozen kilometres north, far from the spotlight, up to 120 000 political prisoners continued experiencing atrocities in inhumane political prison camps, known as kwanliso.

Edging closer to a TPP-11 agreement

27-11-2017

Following negotiations on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2017 Economic Leaders' Week held in Vietnam on 6–11 November, the trade ministers of the remaining 11 signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (one fewer, after the USA withdrew) agreed on the core elements of its revised version – the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The revised agreement is expected to be signed by spring 2018 and to come into effect by 2019 ...

Following negotiations on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2017 Economic Leaders' Week held in Vietnam on 6–11 November, the trade ministers of the remaining 11 signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (one fewer, after the USA withdrew) agreed on the core elements of its revised version – the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The revised agreement is expected to be signed by spring 2018 and to come into effect by 2019.

Multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputes

24-11-2017

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above recommendation, submitted on 13 September 2017 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on International Trade. The recommendation aims to pave the way for the creation of a framework for the resolution of international investment disputes. The IA notes that foreign investors and host countries have settled their investment disputes through the Investor-State ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above recommendation, submitted on 13 September 2017 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on International Trade. The recommendation aims to pave the way for the creation of a framework for the resolution of international investment disputes. The IA notes that foreign investors and host countries have settled their investment disputes through the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS, ad hoc arbitration) since the 1950s. In recent years, concerns have been voiced about the ISDS, in particular in the context of the negotiation processes of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) (EU-USA) and of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) (EU-Canada). Based on the results of the public consultation carried out in 2014, the European Commission presented a plan in May 2015 to reform the investment resolution system. It comprises, as a first step, an institutionalised court system (Investment Court System, ICS) for future EU trade and investment agreements and, as a second step, the establishment of an ‘international investment Court’. According to the IA report, ‘since 2016 the Commission has actively engaged with a large number of partner countries both at a technical and political level to further the reform of the ISDS system and to build a consensus for the initiative of a permanent multilateral investment Court’ (IA, p. 6). In its resolutions of 8 July 2015 on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and of 6 April 2011 on the future European international investment policy, Parliament noted the need to reform the investment dispute settlement mechanism. In its resolution of 5 July 2016 on the future strategy for trade and investment, it supported the aim of creating a ‘multilateral solution to investment disputes’.

COP 23 climate change conference in Bonn

27-09-2017

The COP 23 climate change conference, presided by Fiji, will take place in Bonn, Germany, from 6 to 17 November 2017. The programme is focussed on the implementation of the Paris Agreement. In preparation of COP 23, the European Parliament has tabled questions to the European Commission and the Council. The Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety has adopted a motion for a resolution on COP 23 which is due to be voted during the October I plenary session.

The COP 23 climate change conference, presided by Fiji, will take place in Bonn, Germany, from 6 to 17 November 2017. The programme is focussed on the implementation of the Paris Agreement. In preparation of COP 23, the European Parliament has tabled questions to the European Commission and the Council. The Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety has adopted a motion for a resolution on COP 23 which is due to be voted during the October I plenary session.

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