Two Bulgarian ministers – Mr Emil Karanikolov, Minister for the Economy, and Ms Monika Panayotova, Deputy Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU –presented today the Presidency priorities in their areas of responsibility before two committees of the European parliament – International Trade (INTA) and Constitutional Affairs (AFCO).
Following the political agreement in principle reached in July 2017, a final accord on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was announced on 8 December 2017. The Commission aims that the agreement come into effect before the end of its mandate in 2019, after the approval of the Council and the European Parliament. However, negotiations on investment protection standards and investment protection dispute resolution will continue.
The European Commission has quietly concluded the free trade agreement with Japan today, but the European Council and European Parliament must still decide. GUE/NGL MEPs warn that the Japan-EU Free Trade Agreement (JEFTA) contains many of the same problems as TTIP and CETA which European citizens have clearly stated that they find unacceptable.
On 11 December, development ministers discussed and adopted conclusions on the updated strategy on aid for trade, as presented in the Commission communication of November 2017 “Achieving prosperity through trade and investment: updating the 2007 joint EU strategy on aid for trade”.
Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono today announced the successful conclusion of the final discussions on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
The second Joint Committee under the EU-Indonesia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) met in Jakarta, 6 December 2017.
The EU is the most open market for African exports. Most African countries have fully free access to the EU market. Other partners offer less favourable conditions for African exports. Europe is by far Africa’s largest export market and its main customer. Thanks to EU trade openness, exports of food and manufactured products from Africa to the EU keep increasing.
In July 2017, the EU and Japan reached an agreement in principle on the main elements of the EPA. Within the framework of our event we would like to discuss the possible challenges ahead to close the deal, the chances to overcome differences on the topic of investment protection and the ability of the partners to set global standards regarding digital trade and data flows. As speakers we will be welcoming Ambassador Akira Kono, Deputy Head of the Japanese Mission to the European Union, Philippe Duponteil, European Commission and Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE).