Tusk, Juncker and Abe at the last EU-Japan summit in Brussels./ Photo: European Council
The Diplomat. 28/10/2018
The Government has assured that it intends to appear before the Congress of Deputies to explain, “for the sake of transparency”, the scope and content of the Economic Association Agreement between the European Union and Japan, even though it is a “exclusively community” text whose entry into force requires only the approval of the European Parliament.
On December 8, 2017, the European Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, and the Japanese Foreign Minister, Taro Kono, announced the successful completion of negotiations between the EU and Japan for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which It will eliminate the vast majority of the rights paid by European companies, open the Japanese market to agricultural exports of the Union and increase business opportunities.
As reported by the Government in early October to a parliamentary question from the Joint Group, the content of the EU-Japan agreement “covers exclusive competences of the European Union” and is, therefore, “exclusively Community”, as ruled by the Court of Justice. Justice of the EU based on technical-legal criteria.
Therefore, “approval by the European Parliament is only necessary for its entry into force,” the executive added. Despite this, he added, “the Government, for the sake of transparency, intends to appear before the competent Committee of the Congress of Deputies to explain its scope and content”.
The Executive says is enough the approval of the European Parliament
Following the conclusion of the negotiations, the European Commission forwarded the agreement to the Council of the EU, as established by the Community procedure. On 4 July, the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Governments of the Member States (COREPER II) unanimously approved the legal instruments necessary for the adoption of the agreement, which was subsequently sent to the European Parliament for its consent. The definitive signature took place on July 17 in Tokyo.
According to the Government, the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Japan (JEFTA) is “the largest bilateral trade agreement ever negotiated by the European Union, and will open enormous market opportunities for the parties”.
“Although Spanish companies have been able to take advantage of market opportunities in various sectors (consumer goods, habitat, footwear and fashion textiles, agri-food products such as meat, pork, wine, olive oil, fish), still a wide margin of improvement, which will be extended with the disappearance of barriers to market access as a positive consequence of the JEFTA”, it added.