Proposal for a Decision on the conclusion of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Singapore

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2018) 196
Publication Date 18/04/2018
Content Type


Legislative proposal - published by the European Commission in April 2018 - on the conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Singapore.

Further information:

In December 2009, the Council of the European Union authorised the European Commission to start bilateral negotiations on a free trade agreement with Singapore, and approved the negotiating directives. Negotiations were launched in March 2010 and concluded in October 2014. In July 2015, the European Commission requested an Opinion from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on whether the EU had the necessary competence to sign and conclude alone the agreement that had been negotiated with Singapore, or whether the participation of the EU Member States would be necessary, or at least possible, in respect to certain matters.

The Court's Opinion issued in May 2017 confirmed the EU's exclusive competence with regard to all matters covered by the agreement, except for non-direct investment and investor-to-state dispute settlement where the Member States are defendants that the Court considered to be of shared competence of the EU and the Member States. The text on investor-to-state dispute settlement was subsequently replaced by the Investment Court System in a separate Investment Protection Agreement (IPA).

This agreement covers areas such as tariff liberalisation, reduction of non-tariff trade barriers, and promotion of services and investment. Other trade-related issues include, for example, stronger protection for certain EU geographical indications (GIs), based on a register of GIs. The agreement also provide EU companies with improved access to government procurement opportunities.

The legislative proposal on the conclusion of the FTA was adopted by the European Commission on 18 April 2018. The European Parliament's plenary session provided its consent on 13 February 2019, followed by the Council of the European Union on 8 November . The agreement was due to enter into force on 21 November 2019.

A separate proposal on the signing of the free trade agreement had already been adopted.

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Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
EPRS: Briefing, October 2018: EU-Singapore trade and investment agreements closer to conclusion

EurActiv, 13/02/2019: European Parliament endorses free trade agreement with Singapore
Deutsche Welle, 13/02/2019: EU lawmakers approve free trade deal with Singapore
Bloomberg, 13/02/2019: EU-Singapore Trade Pact Nears Entry Into Force After Long Delay
European Commission: Press Release, 13/02/2019: Agreement with Singapore set to give a boost to EU-Asia trade

European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Proposal on EU/Singapore Free Trade Agreement
EP: Legislative Train: EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
European Commission: Press Release, 18/04/2018: European Commission proposes signature and conclusion Singapore agreement
European Commission: Fact Sheet, 18/04/2018: Key elements of the EU-Singapore trade agreement
European Commission: Opening remarks by Vice-President Katainen and Commissioner Malmström on the outcome of negotiations for the trade agreement with Singapore, 18 April 2018
European Parliament: Press Release, 13/02/2019: Parliament gives green light to EU-Singapore trade and investment protection deals
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 08/11/2019: Final green light to the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement
European Commission: Press Release, 08/11/2019: Trade: EU-Singapore agreement to enter into force on 21 November 2019

ESO Records
Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Singapore – Analysis

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