Opinion Factsheet  

Kauppapolitiikan uudelleentarkastelu

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Opinion Number: CDR 3380/2020
Rapporteur: BORSUS Willy
Commission: ECON
Status: Adopted
Date: 19/03/2021
 
To ensure that trade policy is thoroughly overhauled in order to ensure consistency with the European Green Deal commitments for sustainable and inclusive growth, meet the challenges of the digital transition, increase the competitiveness of EU industry, contribute to the growth of employment in Europe and to enhancing the standard of living of all citizens; emphasises, finally, that trade policy must enhance the resilience of the European Union and ensure it has the capacity to absorb current and future systemic shocks, especially those arising from climate change, migratory flows, heightened geopolitical tensions and the risk of further pandemics and health crises
To strengthen the enforcement of trade rules, which responds to the current deadlock in the functioning of the WTO Appellate Body and which will also apply in the context of trade agreements – bilateral or regional – where a partner unilaterally imposes sanctions against the EU and blocks the dispute settlement procedure provided for in the agreements.
To extend the EU's ability to impose retaliatory measures such as tariffs, quantitative restrictions and in the field of public procurement to services and intellectual property.
To ensure the revision of the impact analysis model and to carry out full, in-depth impact analyses (by sector and sub-sector, by geographical area - country/region - within the EU, in terms of impact on SMEs and in the social, environmental, climate and human rights sphere) of each existing agreement, together with aggregated impact analyses (based on the same criteria) of all existing agreements, in order to ensure that the EU's trade policy is conducted to the advantage of all, citizens and businesses.
The opinion is foreseen for adoption on 19 March 2021. It is therefore premature to measure the possible impact of the opinion at this stage.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



 is disappointed that the European Commission's communication does not contain any solutions to mitigate the negative impact that trade agreements may have on certain agricultural sectors which are already under pressure or internally fragile; calls for reflection on the establishment of a support mechanism for the most heavily impacted sectors; in this regard, remains particularly concerned about the negative impact that the draft EU-Mercosur association agreement is doubtless capable of having on certain agricultural sectors;



 considers that it is important for local and regional authorities – the level closest to citizens – to continue to be fully involved and fully consulted by the Commission with regard to EU trade agreements; in this context, is concerned about the approach adopted by the Commission in the recent trade negotiations – in the wake of the judgment delivered by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Singapore case (opinion 2/15 of May 2017) – with a view to avoiding "mixed" trade relations by only negotiating trade agreements in which the EU has exclusive competences;



 believes that trade policy needs to be thoroughly overhauled in order to ensure consistency with the European Green Deal commitments for sustainable and inclusive growth, meet the challenges of the digital transition, increase the competitiveness of EU industry, and contribute to the growth of employment in Europe and to enhancing the standard of living of all citizens; emphasises, that trade policy must enhance the resilience of the European Union and ensure it has the capacity to mitigate current and future systemic shocks, especially those arising from climate change, heightened geopolitical tensions and the risk of further pandemics and health crises;