Brussels Daily
26 Nov 2018


Brussels Daily


WTO reform: EU proposes way forward on the functioning of the Appellate Body

Today, the EU together with other members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) – Australia, Canada, China, Iceland, India, New Zealand, Mexico, Norway, Singapore and Switzerland – unveiled a proposal for concrete changes to overcome the current deadlock in the WTO Appellate Body. The proposal will be presented at the meeting of the WTO General Council on 12 December.Commissioner Malmström said: “The appellate body function of the WTO dispute settlement system is moving towards a cliff’s edge. Without this core function of the WTO, the world would lose a system that has ensured stability in global trade for decades. Now, together with a broad coalition of WTO members, we are presenting our most concrete proposals yet for WTO reform. I hope that this will contribute to breaking the current deadlock, and that all WTO members will take responsibility equally, engaging in good faith in the reform process.” For instance, today’s proposals set clear limits for outgoing Appellate Body members, and aim to make sure that appeal proceedings finish on time. The proposed amendments to the WTO Agreement submitted now to the organisation membership follow up on the EU’s ideas to modernise the WTO, published on 18 September, and are part of a broader effort that includes the recently submitted proposal on notification and transparency rules within the WTO that was co-sponsored among others by US and Japan.They are the result of intense discussions over the past weeks with WTO countries and address in a systematic and constructive manner all of the concerns expressed in recent months with respect to the Appellate Body. For the detailed information about the proposals, see the press release online.

Adoption of new rules for veterinary medicinal products and medicated feed
Today, the Council adopted the Regulations on the veterinary medicinal products and medicated feed. The European Parliament had already approved the texts on 25 October 2018 with a very large support. Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: Today’s endorsement by EU ministers of a new legislation on veterinary medicinal products and medicated feed marks a major step forward in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. It has been a priority since the beginning of my mandate given that, in the EU, the majority of antimicrobials are consumed in animals. I am convinced that the legislation will have a major impact in Europe, but also on a global stage since the EU proves itself as a leader in the battle against antimicrobial resistance.The new legislations will help provide for a modern, innovative and fit for purpose legal framework on veterinary medicinal products; give incentives to stimulate innovation; increase the availability of veterinary medicinal products; strengthen the EU action to fight antimicrobial resistance; ensure economically-viable production of safe medicated feed throughout the EU; foster innovation in medicated feed. Following the co-signature by the President of the European Parliament and the Austrian Presidency of the Council the text will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and enter into force twenty days later. More information is available in the MEMO.

Better Regulation: The Commission reviews its efforts to simplify EU legislation

Today, the Commission has published a review of the European Union’s efforts to simplify legislation and reduce regulatory burdens in 2018 in line with our commitment in the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making and as part of its Better Regulation Agenda. The survey finds that, under the Regulatory fitness and performance (REFIT) programme, the current Commission has delivered more than 150 initiatives focused on simplifying legislation and reducing burdens. A recent example is a proposal to amend the current VAT rules where compliance costs for small businesses are expected to be reduced to €56.1 billion per year, an 18% reduction compared to the present situation. Under another Commission proposal for a single maritime window, savings are estimated at €625-720 million for shipping operators in the period 2020-2030. In 2018, the Commission also presented a set of proposals for the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework, which aim to significantly simplify procedures. Swift adoption by the European Parliament and Council of those proposals that are still pending will allow citizens, businesses and national authorities to benefit concretely from the proposed simplification measures.   In carrying out this review, the Commission was supported by the REFIT Platform which adopted a further 31 opinions in the twelve months to October 2018.  The review also presents how the Commission has responded to all 89 Platform opinions. Since 2017, an online scoreboard, updated on a quarterly-basis, tracks in detail the state of play of all REFIT-related activities. The survey is available online.


Read the European Commission – Daily News in full here

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