The purpose of the meeting is to debrief civil society organisations on the status of the EU-Indonesia trade negotiations and to exchange views on the topic.
Signing and ratifying Association Agreements with Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine has proven to be an impressive affirmation of Brussels’ soft power. The EU’s overtures have persuaded elites and mobilised societies despite the fact that the Agreements come neither with a membership promise nor with the kind of financial assistance that has been given to the EU’s new member states. EU assistance has been effective in restoring macro-financial stability in all three countries. While costs of compliance with the DCFTA were calculated, level of investment associated with the necessary modernisation to make these economies competitive were neglected. The discrepancy between costs and benefits should prompt the EU to be more flexible.
“The summit in Brussels should be forward-looking, injecting new dynamism providing a clear political vision for the future of our Eastern Partnership. Differentiation is key. As our resources are limited, the principle of ‘more for more and less for less’ should be implemented. We should focus our resources much more on those Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries who have made remarkable progress on their European path”, said Laima Andrikienė MEP, co-author of the European Parliament’s recommendations ahead of the EaP Summit on 24 November.
The EU, US and Canada share the values of democracy, human rights, and economic and political freedom, and overlapping foreign policy and security concerns. The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Strategic Partnership Agreement were signed on 30 October 2016 and received the European Parliament’s consent on 15 February 2017. Negotiations on an EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, launched on 8 July 2013, have been halted since US President Donald Trump was elected.
The European Economic Area (EEA) was set up in 1994 to extend the EU’s provisions on its internal market to the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) countries. Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are parties to the EEA. Switzerland is a member of EFTA but does not take part in the EEA. The EU and EEA partners (Norway and Iceland) are also linked by various ‘northern policies’ and forums which focus on the rapidly evolving northern reaches of Europe and the Arctic region as a whole.
The EU’s trade and development policy is outlined in the January 2012 Communication on ‘Trade, growth and development’. It focuses on countries most in need. The Generalised Scheme of Preferences has been maintained for LDCs, as has the Everything But Arms regime, while preferential treatment for non-LDC ACP countries has been replaced by Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) including a development component. A new EU Aid for Trade strategy, which aims to help developing countries build trade capacities, is being prepared and will be based on a new communication from the Commission. The EU supports the WTO Development Round and ratified the trade facilitation agreement in October 2015.
Georgia’s implementation of its Association Agenda in 2017, which has been supported by the European Union, confirms the country’s commitment to political association and economic integration to the EU.