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Title: EU-Australia free trade agreement. Moving towards the launch of talks
Author: [European Parliament: European Parliamentary Research Service]
Series/Date: Briefing: International Agreements in Progress October 2017
Source Origin: EU
Source Type: Blog/Journal/Series
Notes: The prospective EU-Australia free trade agreement (FTA) will complement the economic dimension of the current longstanding and evolving relationship with a new element. In addition to opening up new bilateral commercial opportunities, the FTA would also both facilitate the creation of new ties with global production and commercial networks and help to advance the trade policy interests of the EU in the Asia-Pacific region.

The economic cooperation already in place includes a number of bilateral agreements that provide a good basis for the future negotiations. However, given that Australia is a major agricultural and agri-food exporter globally, it is expected that, in the course of the negotiations, certain sensitive issues may be raised. The EU is committed to taking European agricultural sensitivities fully into consideration in its negotiating strategy, seeking to protect vulnerable sectors through specific provisions.

On 13 September 2017, the European Commission presented draft negotiating directives for an FTA with Australia. This draft mandate, in line with the EU Court of Justice's May 2017 opinion on the EU-Singapore FTA, covers only areas falling under the EU's exclusive competence. Therefore, the prospective agreement could be concluded by the EU on its own and could be ratified at EU level only. The Commission aims to finalise negotiations before the end of its mandate in late 2019.

Author: Krisztina Binder
Source URL: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2017/608757/EPRS_BRI(2017)608757_EN.pdf
Homepage URL: http://libraryeuroparl.wordpress.com/
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Keywords: Relations between Australia and the European Union - Free Trade Agreement | FTA - Trade in agriculture
Subjects:  18.9.a - Australia
Geographic Indicators:  European Union
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