Social & human rights

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Comment: Member states prop up trade policy as foreign affairs, climate instrument

Foreign affairs ministers met today in Sofia to take decisions on a variety of difficult foreign affairs files. The picture isn’t rosy, with Syria, Venezuela or Myanmar on top of leaders’ agenda. The Foreign Affairs Council also devised a few new conclusions on the EU’s climate diplomacy.   The use …

Energy & Environment EU FTAs & bilateral ties Indonesia Latest news Mercosur Social & human rights

Mercosur in German NGO limelight

The EU is in the final stages of free trade negotiations with the South American bloc Mercosur. It is readying for the adoption of a new trade agreement with Japan and Vietnam. Anti trade agreement campaign groups have recently stepped up their activities to fight these agreements.   A joint …

Agriculture Asia EU FTAs & bilateral ties In-depth briefings Japan Mobility Services Social & human rights

EU Japan EPA text analysis – Easy on the ambition?

The European Commission published the bulk of the text of the EU Japan Economic Partnership Agreement in early December last year.   Below some highlights of the pact and some comments – result of your truly’s Christmas break reading. The deal favours significantly EU exporters and is relatively unambitious in services.

A week in Brussels Social & human rights Ukraine, Russia & CIS

A week in Brussels: TDI, Azerbaijan, French torture-goods breach

It’s been a packed week for trade in Brussels as everyone prepares to break for Christmas.   The trade talks with Mexico did not conclude successfully, and the European Commission is still wrangling over data flows in free trade agreements. The commission came up with a tough transition offer for …

EU Climate, Environment, Labour, Human Rights Social & human rights TDI regulations

‘Future’ environmental compliance costs creep into EU trade-defence calculations

The EU is set to introduce ‘future’ costs of compliance with environmental and labour treaties in its calculation of injury margins in trade-defence cases. The bloc is now making systematic its consideration of a trading partner’s compliance with International Labour Organization and ‘multilateral environmental’ conventions, including the 2015 Paris Agreement …

Export controls dual use Social & human rights

Dual-use regulation overhaul to drag on in European Parliament

The European Parliament will once again examine in plenary a compromise text on ‘dual-use’ export control reached in the international trade committee on Thursday, before it is sent back to the European Commission and member states.   On 23 October, MEPs mainly from the centre-right ultimately refused to send the final …

A week in Brussels EU digital Mercosur Mexico Pakistan Social & human rights South Asia & ASEAN UK trade policy Ukraine, Russia & CIS World Trade Organization

A week in Brussels

Welcome to a new weekly column ‘A week in Brussels’ with the highlights of the trade week in Brussels. I hope you enjoy it!   The trade week in Brussels ends with an understated Eastern Partnership summit. It brings together of a group of disparate countries traumatised by the Ukraine crisis …

Social & human rights

EU in drive to promote ban on trade in products used for torture and death penalty

European Commissioner for trade Cecilia Malmström formally announced the European Union is seeking to form an international alliance to ban trade in products used for torture and capital punishment.   The move is done jointly with Argentina and Mongolia. The alliance for torture-free trade hopes to pave the way towards …