18 Oct: CONSULTATIONS: Trade agreements with Georgia and Moldova – evaluation

Deadline: 10-01-2022

(Source: European Commission)


The evaluation will examine the costs and benefits of the EU’s “Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreements” with Georgia and Moldova. These are part of the Association Agreement each country has with the EU.  

The study will assess the impact these trade agreements have had on trade and the economy, society at large, workers, human rights and the environment in each country. It will also look at the impact on small businesses and consumers.



Type of act

Staff working document



More information:…

18 Oct: EU-US Trade and Technology Council

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team. 

The European Union and the United States are powerful giants in the global economy and on the international stage. Both are ambitious and competitive, both are also protectionist in their own ways. Each is aware of the need for comprehensive and close collaboration to counterbalance other emerging super powers whose global ambitions, and business ethics, do not represent the democratic values of either the EU or the US. Thus, it is a surprise that, still today, there is no dedicated trade agreement between the EU and the US. 

The Transatlantic …

28 Jun: Double standards on human rights

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team 

Human rights and democracy are not “European” nor “Western” principles but universal values to which all UN members subscribe. However, within European affairs, and Europe’s desire for increased recognition, influence and trade, contradictions in its policies, especially regarding its commitment to human rights are becoming more and more evident. As a result, and noted in the recent publication of the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024, whilst proactive steps forward have been made, there has also been a pushback against human rights. The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and …

16 Jun: Biodiversity and effective Sustainable Impact Assessments

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team 

The impacts of trade liberalisation are wide ranging covering not just the economic sectors where business is done, but the social and environmental consequences which result through increased or decreased production, supply chain demands and distribution logistics. It is therefore extremely disturbing to read the admission of the European Commission that “there is ample evidence that the impacts of EU trade agreements on global biodiversity have contributed to net negative rather than positive consequences”.

At the start, when the European Commission begins to negotiate Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) it uses …

08 Jun: Taxing Times

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team 

Now that a global corporate tax rate has finally been agreed, after years of discussions on alleged and actual tax avoidance by international multinationals and online technology companies, can we expect imminent changes in Europe? 

Taxes are paid on trading transactions and both trade and tax rules are becoming increasingly complex as the divergence from everyday goods and services continues. Digital transactions, cryptocurrencies, encrypted data flows and varying low tax regimes or tax avoidance mechanisms, have led to trade wars and retaliation, as well as to a labelling of global …

02 Jun: Trade: Council agrees its negotiating mandate on the International Procurement Instrument

(Source: Council of the EU)

EU ambassadors today agreed on a mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament on a regulation to create an International Procurement Instrument (IPI), which will help to address the lack of a level playing field in world procurement markets.

IPI is a trade offensive tool aiming to provide the EU the necessary negotiating leverage to open up third countries’ procurement markets and ensure access and a level playing field to EU businesses in those markets.

The EU will be now better equipped to defend European businesses against discriminatory and restrictive practices applied by some of …

21 May: A stronger Europe in the world will require clear messaging.

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team 

When it comes to foreign policy, Europe is awash with mixed messaging. There appears to be no clear strategy, and worst of all, no clear principles. It is very difficult to comprehend how the European Union will achieve its fourth priority “a stronger Europe in the world”. 

Ursula von der Leyen has stated that the EU endorses a multilateral rules-based order by ‘strengthening our unique brand of responsible global leadership’. In February 2021, the European Commission, jointly with the High Representative/Vice President of the Commission (HR/VP), Josep Borrell, adopted a …

20 May: Getting a patent waiver is not enough, says WTO chief to Trade Committee

(Source: European Parliament)

Parliament’s Committee on Trade debated on Thursday how to increase vaccine production effectively with WTO Director-General Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

In reply to trade committee MEPs’ questions over what measures are needed to accelerate equitable access to vaccines, Dr Okonjo-Iweala argued in favour of expanding vaccine production and ending export restrictions.

She said: “Getting the Intellectual Property rights waiver for vaccines will not be enough”. She listed three other routes: reducing export restrictions and reinforcing supply chains for vaccines, working with manufacturers to expand production, including in emerging countries with idle capacity such as Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand …

11 May: Competition: Commission adopts Recommendation for Council Decision authorising negotiations for EU-UK Competition Cooperation Agreement

(Source: EU Commission)

The European Commission has adopted a Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising negotiations for an EU-UK Competition Cooperation Agreement. The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which entered into force on 1 May 2021, foresees the possibility for a separate agreement on cooperation in competition matters between the Commission and the competition authorities of the Member States, on the one hand, and the competition authorities of the UK on the other hand. The Recommendation to Council proposes to proceed with implementation of this point of the TCA. The envisaged competition cooperation agreement may include conditions for the …

10 May: Trade of dual-use items: new EU rules adopted

(Source: EEAS)

The EU has upgraded its legislation on the export controls applicable to sensitive dual-use goods and technologies such as cyber-surveillance tools.

Today the Council adopted a regulation modernising the EU system for the control of exports, brokering, technical assistance, transit and transfer of dual-use items. These are goods, software and technology that can be used for both civilian and military applications.

We welcome the new EU rules on exports of dual-use items that give human rights the prominence they deserve. Strong controls will allow us to prevent human rights violations and abuses, while keeping up with the latest technological …