TRADE POLICY AT THE CENTER OF DEBATE
Trade Policy was at the heart of last week’s political debate in Brussels. This week, Members of Parliament will rather concentrate on corporate liability for serious human rights abuses in non-EU countries, the legal framework for customs infringements and sanctions as well as measures to reduce trans fats.
#UnfairPractices: proposals for more robust trade instruments
By means of updated, strengthened and more robust instruments, the European Commission wants to strengthen European defenses against unfair trade. As existing trade defense instruments have proved insufficient, the European Commission now adopted a Communication “Towards a robust trade policy for the EU in the interest of jobs and growth”, providing also for a new anti-dumping methodology for situations where market conditions do not prevail.
Therefore, the Commission calls upon the Member States to support the proposals on adapting trade defense instruments to the current needs of the European economy tabled in 2013. A proposal for the implementation of a new method for calculating dumping on imports shall be presented before the end of this year.
#China: EU –Chinese Dialogue on Trade
At their 6th annual EU-China High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue, commissioners and ministers discussed strategic issues such as macro-economic challenges, global economic governance and ongoing reforms in China and the EU. Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness concluded that “it is clear we share a commitment to strong, sustainable and balanced growth and our cooperation in all economic and trade issues will continue".
Main outcomes include that the EU and China will continue to work together on addressing structural market access problems to ensure that the key barriers affecting both sides are eliminated. Apart from exploring the potential to boost sustainable economic and societal development further, participants will jointly reflect on what can be done to ensure the transition to a more resource efficient growth model in the context of the Commissions’ upcoming Circular Economy Mission to China. The launch of practical cooperation shall support businesses in establishing more sustainable supply chains.
Press Release (European Commission)
#Russia: A tense relationship
Russia’s engagement in Syria and Ukraine was discussed by MEPs who called for a "critical reassessment" of EU relations with the country. Othmar Karas, head of the delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee highlighted that “as Minsk is not implemented, there can be no end or erasing of sanctions and no business as usual in EU-Russia relations”. Relations with Russia were also on the European Council’s agenda. With regard to Syria, the heads of the member states concluded that the “EU is considering all available options, should the current atrocities continue”.
Within the context of the Normandy Format- talks, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande both brought additional sanctions into play.