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  • Author: METRO Office EU Affairs

News from Brussels / Week 28 October – 04 November 2016


Last week the “CETA drama” came to an (open) end: the agreement was finally signed in Brussels; however, the agreement still needs the consent of the European Parliament and the ratification of the Member States. Meanwhile, the MEPs found time to visit their constituencies, as there were no activities planned in the European Parliament during a calm week with two bank holidays in the institutions.

The European Commission, together with the Member States and the Government of Canada, has signed the CETA agreement. The treaty establishes a political and economic partnership between the EU and Canada and aims to set high standards for global trade. The signing of the agreement was possible after the EU found a compromise with the regional government of Wallonia. Now the European Parliament will have to give its consent to CETA for it to enter into force provisionally.

Press Release (European Commission)
Joint Declaration (European Council)

#European Equal Pay Day
Thursday, 3rd November 3 saw the European Equal Pay Day, representing the day in the year when women across Europe stop being paid due to the gender pay gap. European Commis-sioners Frans Timmermans, Marianne Thyssen and Věra Jourouvá used this occasion to ad-dress this issue: Even though equality is one of the EU’s fundamental values, this is not a reality for women on the labour market. This does not only constitute an injustice, together with a lack of possibilities to combine job and family this leads to a lack of competitiveness as women’s potential cannot be fully exploited. In 2017 the Commission will come forward with a proposal for working families.

Press Release (European Commission)
More Information (European Commission)

#Genetically Modified Food
The European Union has the competence to decide on the authorization of the cultivation of genet-ically modified plants. However, Member States are given the opportunity to opt out and to ban the cultivation of a genetically modified products from their soil. The Federal Government of Germany has now implemented this possibility and introduced a law with which can prohibit genetically modified products in Germany.

Press Release (Federal Government of Germany)

#Common Food Standards

Central and Eastern European countries are complaining that the same products that are sold throughout Europe are often of worse quality in their countries. The problem of “dual-quality foods” has raised concerns for years, but it is now with the Slovak Presidency of the Council that the double standards in food quality might be included in the EU agenda.

Press Article (Politico)

This week...

… in the European Parliament is dedicated to the work in the committees. The Economics and Financial (ECOFIN) formation if the Council will also meet to discuss on tax fairness and VAT in cross-border activities. On Wednesday, 9th November, the Slovak Presidency organises in Bratislava a conference on “Food Chain in the Digital Single Market”and on Tuesday, 8th November, everyone in Brussels will be looking at the other side of the Atlantic to see who will become the next US President.

METRO Office EU Affairs

Information about the author

METRO Office EU Affairs is the team in the Representative Office of METRO AG in Brussels. Brussels@metro.de