12 Nov 2015
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 12 NOVEMBERBrussels Daily
Latest EU agri-food trade figures confirm overall positive trend
According to annual data, EU agri-food exports to third countries increased in value by more than 6% compared to the preceding 12-month period, confirming the positive trend in this direction over the last several months. EU agri-food imports also increased by 8% over the year compared to one year ago. On a monthly basis, imports went down in August 2015 compared to July 2015 by 7%. Over the 12 month period assessed, major gains in export values were achieved in the USA (+18%), Turkey (+27%) and China (+37%), replacing Russia as the second largest export destination, as well as in other key Asian markets such as Hong Kong and South Korea. The latest trade balance for EU all agri-food products in August 2015 showed a surplus in exports by more than €1 billion, in spite of a significant decrease in value of agri-food exports and imports the same month, following record sales in July. The full monitoring report including graphs on products and destinations concerned is online here.
Commission approves new promotion programmes for agricultural products
The European Commission has approved today 33 new programmes to promote EU agricultural products in the EU and third country markets. These programmes are worth €108 million over 3 years, half of which (€54 million) comes from the EU budget. The programmes will contribute to opening up new markets and increasing the consumption of promoted products inside and outside the EU. Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan said: “I welcome these new programmes, especially in the context of the recent market difficulties. Such programmes are important for establishing new market opportunities, in particular on non-EU markets, and thereby help stimulate growth and jobs in the agri-food sector.” The selected programmes cover a wide range of product categories, notably those hit by recent market difficulties, such as dairy products, but also meat, fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, quality products (namely those protected under the three EU geographical indications’ schemes) as well as olive oil and organic produce. Out of the 33 selected programmes, 20 target the internal market and 13 target third countries and regions. See press release. See here for the full list of programmes and budgets adopted.
EU finalises proposal for investment protection and Investment Court System for TTIP
The EU has formally presented to the US its proposal for a reformed approach on investment protection and a new and more transparent system for resolving disputes between investors and states – the Investment Court System. On this occasion, EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström commented: “Today marks the end of a long internal process in the EU to develop a modern approach on investment protection and dispute resolution for TTIP and beyond. This is the result of far-reaching consultations and debate with Member States, the European Parliament, stakeholders and citizens. This approach will allow the EU to take a global role on the path of reform, to create an international court based on public trust.” The final text includes all the key elements of the Commission’s proposal of 16 September, which aims at safeguarding the right to regulate and creating a court-like system with an appeal mechanism based on clearly defined rules, with qualified judges and transparent proceedings. The proposal also includes additional improvements on access to the new system by small and medium sized companies. The new system would replace the existing investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in TTIP and in all ongoing and future EU trade and investment negotiations. A full press release and memo are available online. The blog post by Commissioner Malmström on the proposal for a reformed approach is online here.
- Fitness Check of Birds and Habitats Directive: Stakeholder conference, 20 November
- President Juncker launches the EU Emergency Trust Fund to tackle root causes of irregular migration in Africa
|Read today’s edition in full: Daily News 12 – 11 – 2015|