Unions fear ‘political’ EU court opinion could unpick rules on posting workers

Trade unions fear that a “political” opinion from the European Court of Justice could lead to the overhaul the rules on the posting of workers employed with companies that hire out temporary staff and the single market.

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Highlights – WTO negotiations, Trade and Sustainable Development: committee debates – Committee on International Trade

Abbreviation WTO
The Committee on International Trade will discuss the preparations for the upcoming WTO negotiations, including with respect to the proposed waiver for COVID-19 vaccines intellectual property rights under the TRIPS agreement and the fisheries subsidies negotiations. The Committee will also discuss the review of the 15-point action plan on the effective implementation and enforcement of the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapters (TSD) in trade agreements. The meeting will be held on 13 July.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Briefing – EU-UK relations: Difficulties in implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol – 09-07-2021

On 3 March 2021, the United Kingdom (UK) Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, announced in a written statement to the UK Parliament, and without consulting the European Union (EU) in advance, that the grace period on border controls on a series of food and live products shipped from Great Britain to Northern Ireland would be extended. This meant that products of animal origin, composite products, food and feed of non-animal origin and plants and plant products could continue being shipped from Great Britain to Northern Ireland without the official certification, such as health and phytosanitary certificates, required by the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland (the Protocol) of the Withdrawal Agreement (WA). In response to the UK’s decision, the EU launched legal action against the UK for breaching the provisions of the Protocol, as well as the good faith obligation under the WA. According to the Protocol, the UK must establish border controls on goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland according to EU law. The application of EU law to Northern Ireland, together with the conduct of border controls within the UK, was designed to prevent the establishment of physical border controls (a ‘hard border’) on the island of Ireland, so as to safeguard the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement which brought peace in Northern Ireland, while preserving the integrity of the EU’s single market. The grace period on border controls was agreed by the EU and the UK in December 2020 as a temporary solution to problems raised by the UK. The UK government has reiterated that it intends to implement the Protocol, but that the border controls are causing trade disruption between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and require time to be resolved. It has also mentioned other issues involving areas as diverse as medicinal supplies and parcel shipments, as well as the complexity of customs systems and implementation of exchange of information between the EU and the UK. On 30 June 2021, the EU and the UK reached an agreement on some solutions, including the extension of the grace period on meat products, conditional on tight controls.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Highlights – Adding gender-based violence as new ‘eurocrime’: committee vote – Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs – Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

Stop violence against women
The Committees on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, and on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality will vote on the report on identifying gender-based violence as a new area of ‘eurocrime’, on 14 July. This legislative initiative requests the Commission to propose a Council decision to consider gender-based violence as an area of crime that meets the criteria established under Article 83(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

In-Depth Analysis – The EU-Turkey Customs Union and trade relations: what options for the future? – 07-07-2021

This in-depth analysis summarizes the main effects of the Customs Union (CU) on EU-Turkey trade and the economic situation in Turkey. Whereas the CU offers Turkey several economic benefits, it also implies some downsides, in particular asymmetric tariffs in relation to third countries. Against the background of the dynamic development of EU-Turkey relations, the authors assess the impact of four different options for developing EU-Turkey economic and trade relations:
(i) Continuation of the current Customs Union framework as it stands,
(ii) Modernization and upgrading of the Customs Union,
(iii) A transformation of the bilateral trade relations into a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA),
(iv) Suspension of the Customs Union (in which case WTO rules would apply).
The in-depth-analysis describes the options, the challenges the EU-Turkey Customs Union faces and seeks solutions for these issues.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

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