Archive pour la catégorie ‘Trade’

EU Funding: European Union maintains trade preferences for developing countries

Vendredi 25 juillet 2008

The European Commission has welcomed the adoption by EU Member States of a new Regulation applying the EC’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) for the period from 1 January 2009 until the end of 2011. .

This decision will allow the EU to maintain
preferential access to its market for 176 developing countries. The renewed preference
system will be updated and improved, ensuring that GSP is targeted at those countries that need it most. GSP provides real economic value to developing countries, with €57 billion worth of trade under the scheme in 2007

As a result of re-calculations to reflect the evolution of trade, preferences for specific product groups will be re-established for six beneficiary countries of GSP (Algeria, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa and Thailand). Preferences will be suspended for one country, Vietnam, for one product group, namely Section XII products (footwear and some other products). These adjustments are triggered automatically when a country’s performance on the EU market goes above or below a certain threshold. This procedure follows strict rules, and helps to ensure that the benefits of GSP preferences are targeted at the countries that need them most. Suspension of preferences, called “graduation”, reflects the fact that a particular country is competitive in the EU market for the products in question.

Alongside the standard GSP scheme, the EU also offers a special incentive arrangement for Sustainable Development and Good Governance, known as GSP+. GSP+ offers additional preferences to support vulnerable developing countries in their ratification and implementation of relevant international conventions on human and labour rights, environmental protection, and good governance. Interested countries have until 31 October this year to apply in order to benefit for GSP+ preferences from January 2009.


The GSP is an autonomous trade arrangement through which the EU provides non-reciprocal preferential access to the EU market to 176 developing countries and territories. In 2007, developing countries exported €57 billion worth of goods under GSP, with a nominal duty loss for the EU of €2.5 billion. At present, 14 beneficiary countries receive the additional preferences offered under the GSP+ incentive arrangement. These preferences will lapse at the end of the year and both existing and potential new beneficiaries meeting the applicable criteria will need to apply before 31 October 2008 if they wish to receive GSP+ treatment from January 2009. A special arrangement for the 50 least-developed

DG Trade

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EU funding: EU-Russia: first round of negotiations for the new Agreement

Jeudi 3 juillet 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Grants provided to cross-borders projects of civil societies’ development in CEE/Russia Regional area

On 4 July, the negotiators of the European Commission and the Russian Federation will meet for a first round of talks on the new Agreement in Brussels.

During this first meeting negotiators will focus on defining the overall scope of the negotiations, the agenda for the different areas to be covered, and establishing a calendar for the negotiations. The EU delegation is led by the head of the Directorate General for External Relations, Director General Eneko Landaburu. The Russian delegation is headed by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov.

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy commented: “Just a week after the political launch of these negotiations on the new Agreement in Khantiy-Mansiisk, the two negotiating teams are getting down working here in Brussels. Our aim is to achieve a comprehensive and substantive Agreement that will serve as the institutional and legal basis for our relations for a long time to come. The new agreement will help to unlock the full potential of this partnership, which is based on so many common interests”.

The new Agreement will provide the legally binding framework for future co-operation between the EU and the Russian Federation, building on existing cooperation in the Four Common Spaces. It will underpin this strategic partnership by preparing the ground for stronger results-orientated political co-operation, deep economic integration, a level playing field for our energy relations, closer relations in the field of freedom, security, and justice, and the mutual opening of educational and scientific systems to.

Russia’s completion of its WTO accession process will open new perspectives for trading and economic relations with the EU.

Another important component of the new agreement will be the commitments both the EU and Russia have signed up to at international level, notably as members of the Council of Europe and the OSCE.

After the conclusion of this round of negotiations, the main negotiators will brief the press on the record on Friday 4 July at 12:30. Journalists wanting to attend this briefing should please contact Christiane Hohmann (

Press Room - European Commission

EU Funding: EU trade with Bosnia and Herzegovina enters new phase

Mercredi 2 juillet 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Assistance to the Candidate countries to support their progressive compliance with EU rules and policies, including the acquis communautaire if necessary, in preparation for their accession

The European Commission has welcomed on july 1st the entry into force of the Interim Agreement (IA) with Bosnia and Herzegovina

The IA effectively creates a free trade area, with progressive opening of the market of Bosnia and Herzegovina facilitating economic and social development. The two sides signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) and the IA on 16 June in Luxembourg. Until the ratification process is finalised the trade provisions of the SAA are applied through the IA.

The agreement allows free access to EU markets for almost all goods from Bosnia and Herzegovina, which in turn will gradually open its market to the European products and services. Bosnia and Herzegovina will also introduce standards from the EU, progressively aligning its legislation in a number of areas such as competition, intellectual property, investment, public procurement or protection of personal data. This process will facilitate economic and social development in Bosnia and Herzegovina and will encourage proceeding with further economic reforms. Finally, the institutional set-up foreseen in the SAA/IA will constitute a forum of extensive dialogue and cooperation in trade related matters and beyond.

The latest Commission Communication on Western Balkans from 5 March 2008 notes that the region has a clear European perspective. In this regard, a successful implementation of the IA and SAA is a key and essential factor in assessing Bosnia and Herzegovina’s readiness to further advance relations with the EU.


The EU is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s biggest trading partner, with total trade of around 5 billion euros in 2007. In 2007, imports coming from the EU made up 66.7% of total imports by Bosnia and Herzegovina, while exports to the EU accounted for 71.4% of its total exports. In 2007, EU imports from grew by 6.1% year on year to reach over 1.8 billion euros, while exports to Bosnia and Herzegovina grew by 8.3%, reaching over 3 billion euros.

Press room - European Commission

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CAP reform

Mardi 29 avril 2008

Council formally adopts wine reform which will boost competitiveness of European wines