December 01
2020
Trajan Shipley
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29th October 2020
External Relations & Trade Institutional law

Council and Parliament reach agreement on revised Trade Enforcement Regulation

The European Parliament and the Council of the EU have reached an agreement on the revision of Regulation 654/2014, concerning the exercise of the EU’s rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules. The current version of the Regulation sets out a common legislative framework for the enforcement of the EU’s rights under international trade agreements. 

The aim of the revised regulation is to better protect the EU’s interests by allowing the Commission to take action (such as by imposing countermeasures) in a situation in which dispute settlement procedures are blocked, given the current paralysis of the WTO Appellate Body. It would also ensure that the EU can enforce its trade rights if one of its partners blocks the normal dispute settlement mechanism under bilateral treaties. 

The Commission will also have the right to take countermeasures when a trade partner under a bilateral or regional trade agreement imposes illegal trade measures and subsequently blocks the dispute settlement process under that agreement.The scope of the possible countermeasures is further extended to services and harmonised areas of intellectual property rights, and will continue to include the areas of customs duties, quantitative restrictions and public procurement.

The new version of the regulation now needs the approval of Member States (by qualified majority).

Read the Council’s press release here and the Commission’s proposal here.

An Op-Ed on the subject by Yves Melin and Jin Woo Kim will follow shortly.

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