Regulation (EU) 2021/167 amending Regulation (EU) No 654/2014 concerning the exercise of the Union’s rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules

Author (Corporate) ,
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Series Details L 49, Pages 1-5
Publication Date 12/02/2021
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Summary:

Regulation (EU) 2021/167 - formally signed by the co-legislators on 10 February 2021 - aimed at allowing the European Union (EU) to protect its trade interests despite the paralysis of the multilateral dispute settlement system in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Further information:

The initiative concerns an amendment of Regulation (EU) No 654/2014  concerning the exercise of the Union's rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules and amending Council Regulation (EC) No 3286/94 laying down procedures in the field of the common commercial policy in order to ensure the exercise of the EU's rights under international trade rules, in particular those established under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The objective of the amendment is the protection of the Union’s interests under international trade agreements in situations when third countries adopt illegal measures and simultaneously block a dispute settlement process. The amendment extends the scope of the Enforcement Regulation to allow for action in a situation of dispute settlement procedures that are blocked. This proposal for this Regulation came as a direct reaction to the blockage of the operations of the WTO Appellate Body.

The proposal for this Act was tabled by the European Commission on 12 December 2019. Member State representatives adopted the Council's negotiation position on this proposal on 8 April 2020. The European Parliament's relevant committee adopted its own position on 6 July. An informal agreement between the co-legislators on a compromise text for the initiative was reached on 28 October. The Parliament's plenary formally endorsed it on 19 January 2021, followed by the Council of the European Union on 3 February. The Act was formally signed on 10 February 2021 and published in the Official Journal on 12 February 2021.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
Opinio Juris, 30/10/2020: The Procedural Inconsistency of the Envisaged EU Enforcement Regulation with the EU’s WTO Obligations http://opiniojuris.org/2020/10/30/the-procedural-inconsistency-of-the-envisaged-eu-enforcement-regulation-with-the-eus-wto-obligations/
EPRS: At a Glance, January 2021: Enforcement Regulation review https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_ATA(2021)659438
EPRS: Briefing, March 2021: Review of EU Enforcement Regulation for trade disputes https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2020)652021

News
The Irish Times, 12/12/2019: Phil Hogan to toughen EU trade laws after partial collapse of WTO body https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/phil-hogan-to-toughen-eu-trade-laws-after-partial-collapse-of-wto-body-1.4113103
Deutsche Welle, 12/12/2019: EU to give themselves new powers after WTO deadlock https://p.dw.com/p/3UhcY
Reuters, 12/12/2019: EU seeks to arm itself against U.S., others in trade disputes https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKBN1YG0WC

Official
EUR-LEX: COM(2019)623: Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EU) No 654/2014 concerning the exercise of the Union's rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=COM:2019:623:FIN
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Proposal on Exercise of the Union's rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules (2019/0273(COD)) https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?lang=en&reference=2019/0273(COD)
European Parliament: Legislative Train Schedule: Exercise of the Union's rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules https://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-a-stronger-europe-in-the-world/file-enforcement-regulation-review/02-2021
European Commission: DG Trade: Enforcement and protection https://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/policy-making/enforcement-and-protection/index_en.htm
European Commission: Press Release, 13/12/2019: Commission reinforces tools to ensure Europe's interests in international trade https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_19_6748
European Commission: Questions and Answers: Commission proposes new tools to enforce Europe's rights in international trade https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/QANDA_19_6757
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 08/04/2020: EU trade: Council agrees its position on revamped enforcement regulation https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/04/08/eu-trade-council-agrees-its-position-on-revamped-enforcement-regulation/
European Commission: Press Release, 28/10/2020: EU strengthens trade enforcement arsenal with revamped regulation https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1994
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 28/10/2020: Trade: EU reaches political agreement on updated enforcement regulation https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/10/28/trade-eu-reaches-political-agreement-on-updated-enforcement-regulation/
S&D Group: Newsroom, 18/01/2021: With the up-dated Enforcement Regulation, the EU will be in a better position to defend our commercial interests https://www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu/newsroom/dated-enforcement-regulation-eu-will-be-better-position-defend-our-commercial-interests
European Parliament: Press Release, 19/01/2021: EU will have stronger powers in trade disputes https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20210114IPR95626/
European Commission: Press Release, 13/02/2021: Strong EU trade enforcement rules enter into force https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_601
UK Parliament: European Scrutiny Committee: News, 16/03/2021: New EU rules could lead to increased friction in NI - GB trade https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/69/european-scrutiny-committee/news/152804/new-eu-rules-could-lead-to-increased-friction-in-ni-gb-trade/

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