Strategic Partnership Agreement (Spa)

One of the drawbacks of the EPA between the EU and Japan is why it was possible to conclude this agreement so quickly and without incident. In 2016, when the EU was about to sign its agreement with Canada, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), it had a nasty surprise because the Walloon region was opposed to the agreement and threatened to block it. Subsequently, with regard to the free trade agreement between the European Union and Singapore, the European Court of Justice decided that its dispute settlement mechanism for investments in shared powers between the EU and Member States was applicable, so that the agreement must be concluded jointly by the EU and its Member States. Since negotiations on an investment agreement have been slower, taking into account these two previous events, the issue of investment protection has been excluded from the EPA between the EU and Japan, so that the entry into force of the agreement cannot be delayed or totally prevented by a single Member State. Investment negotiations are continuing because the EU does not want to use the traditional investor-state dispute settlement system, but rather to create a permanent system of investment justice. The next meeting between EU and Japanese negotiators is scheduled for March 2019. At first, Japan only wanted a free trade agreement, while the EU demanded a political framework agreement. Parallel negotiations began in April 2013 and on 17 July 2018 both sides signed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). The EPA came into force on 1 February 2019. In the first year of implementation of the EPA, EU exports to Japan increased by 6.6% compared to the same period in the previous year, when Japanese exports to Europe increased by 6.3%. On the other hand, the GSB has not yet entered into force because it must be ratified not only by the EU and Japan, but also by the EU Member States. However, the majority of the G.S.O. has already been applied on an interim basis.

For example, the EU`s regional priority should be assigned to Eastern Europe and in particular the Western Balkans, as many of these countries have been part of the EU accession process for some years and are at the forefront of the EU`s enlargement strategy.



Written by Brett Pierce - Visit Website

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