Chambers & Regions said a collective effort is needed to boost uptake of EU FTAs
EUROCHAMBRES and the European Committee of the Regions have conducted the joint survey over the past months, with an objective to identify opportunities and obstacles faced in the implementation of EU FTAs. The survey is based on feedback from regions and chambers of commerce covering all EU member states.
The survey confirms the attractiveness of FTA for regional and national economies, with the main benefits deriving form tariff reductions as well as new access for EU service providers. At the same time, it highlights some deficiencies with regard to the lack of awareness among SMEs when using FTAs in practice. To that end, actions by all actors are instrumental, the EU, national and regional level, while the particular role of Chambers was highlighted in the survey, as a very valuable source of input for the national and European level. The expertise of chambers and regions will be key in ensuring that measures taken will help small businesses and local communities across the EU to seize the potential of FTAs.
The rapporteur for the European Committee of the Regions' opinion on implementation of free trade agreements, Cllr. Michael Murphy, explained that more informative activities can help improve the reach of practical information and provide support to SMEs in all regions. “There is a clear need for practical guidance on how SMEs and regions can engage in trade with third countries and for more informative activities such as trainings, seminars and workshops, which can help improve the reach of practical information and provide support to SMEs in all regions. I look forward to working together with stakeholders and facilitating discussions on developing tools and methods that can be used to increase the uptake of FTAs, particularly among micro-enterprises and SMEs across all EU's regions."
According to the key findings of the survey, practical information and better guidance is needed on the EU's FTA, especially regarding the area of public procurement. Some core components of FTAs, such as customs procedures or administrative burdens, remains critical and should be simplified. Member states should strengthen their support for FTA implementation together with chambers and regions. An implementation action plan to accompany mayor EU FTA should be implemented in order to cater to the needs and challenges of national and regional economies.
EUROCHAMBRES Head of International Trade and Foreign Policy, Dominic Boucsein, stated that the EU has done a great job in creating the world's largest network of trade agreements. “However, Europe is still punching below its weight when it comes to FTA implementation. We must maximize the economic benefits of FTAs, which means closing the knowledge gap among SMEs, simplifying rules of origin, and ensuring more coherent EU wide action on implementation at all levels".
Based on the results of the survey, a list of recommendation will be delivered to the European Commission. The survey will also feed into the CoR opinion on the implementation of free trade agreements to be adopted in 2020.
For more information please contact:
Karen Albuquerque – Press and Communications Officer
T. +32 (0) 2 282 0862
European Committee of the Regions
Carmen Schmidle – Press Officer
T. +32 (0)2 282 2366
Latest News from
Commission adopts Action Plan on Intellectual Property to strengthen EU's economic resilience and recovery25/11/2020 15:25:00
Yesterday, the Commission published a new Action Pan on Intellectual Property to help companies, especially small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), to make the most of their inventions and creations and ensure they can benefit our economy and society.
Statement by President von der Leyen on Moderna25/11/2020 14:33:00
Statement given yesterday by President von der Leyen on Moderna.
Existing guidance appropriate for assessment of genome editing in plants25/11/2020 13:25:00
Genome editing techniques that modify the DNA of plants do not pose more hazards than conventional breeding or techniques that introduce new DNA into a plant, an EFSA assessment concludes.
Team Europe steps up delivery to its COVID-19 recovery package up to €38.5 billion for partner countries25/11/2020 12:38:00
Half of Team's Europe global recovery package to help partners address the COVID-19 pandemic, which has increased to €38.5 billion, has already been disbursed, showing the EU is delivering on its commitments.
COVID-19 and natural disasters: €823 million in EU aid for eight member states25/11/2020 11:33:00
On Tuesday, Parliament approved €823 million in EU aid for the Croatia earthquake, floods in Poland, and the response to the coronavirus crisis in seven EU countries.
EU reconfirms support for Afghanistan at 2020 Geneva Conference25/11/2020 10:38:00
The European Union yesterday reconfirmed its long-standing solidarity and partnership with the people of Afghanistan, pledging support of €1.2 billion over the period 2021–2025 in both long-term and emergency assistance at the 2020 Afghanistan Conference “Peace, Prosperity and Self-Reliance”.
EU should set goal to end homelessness by 203025/11/2020 09:25:00
On Tuesday, Parliament approved a series of recommendations to combat homelessness and end housing exclusion in the EU.
EU consumers will soon be able to defend their rights collectively24/11/2020 16:33:00
Parliament today endorsed a new law that will allow groups of consumers to join forces and launch collective action in the EU.
Remarks by Commissioner Sinkevičius, in charge of Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, at the Press Conference on the occasion of the launch of the EEA's ‘Air Quality in Europe - 2020 Report'24/11/2020 15:25:00
Remarks given by Commissioner Sinkevičius, in charge of Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, at the Press Conference on the occasion of the launch of the EEA's ‘Air Quality in Europe – 2020 Report'.
EU-China: Council gives final green light to the agreement on geographical indications24/11/2020 13:25:00
The Council yesterday adopted a decision on the conclusion of the agreement between the European Union and the government of the People’s Republic of China on cooperation on and protection of geographical indications (GIs).