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EU Political Update

Talking Tech Highlights: 07-11th November 2016

27 April 2017

A weekly review of tech related political developments in the European Union

Week in Review 

Trade: EU and Canada sign the CETA and a new Strategic Partnership Agreement

On 30 October 2016, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Council of the European Union Donald Task, the Prime Minister of Slovakia, and the Canadian Prime Minister signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada as well as a new Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA).

The CETA will (i) remove 99% of import duties; (ii) improve EU companies' access to public tenders issued by the Canadian government, provinces, and municipalities; (iii) allow for mutual recognition of professional qualifications and mutual acceptance of conformity assessment certificates (e.g. for electronic equipment and toys); (iv) allow company staff to move between Canada and the EU for temporary work; (v) align Canadian and EU intellectual property rules; (vi) make it easier for EU firms to provide after-sales services in Canada (e.g. for machinery and software); and (vii) offer protection to geographical indications. Imports from Canada will still have to satisfy all EU product rules and Regulations, including EU food safety Regulation.

The SPA reaffirms and strengthens cooperation between Canada and the EU in a range of areas including foreign and security policy, economic and sustainable development, and law enforcement.

Under the CETA, states will not be prevented from amending legislation even if this affects a foreign investment. Hearings under the new Investment Court System (ICS) will be opened up and the court will be able to publish case documents. A legally binding Joint Interpretative Instrument signed by the parties clarifies the interpretation of a number of CETA provisions, including the ICS.

The CETA will provisionally enter into force after the European Parliament and Member States have approved the agreement. Once provisionally approved, individuals and companies may benefit from the CETA provisions. The ICS is outside the scope of the provisional application of the CETA and will only be implemented when all Member States have completed their national ratification procedures.

This week in the Institutions 
European Commission 

7 November 

  • First Vice-President Frans Timmermans will be in Rennesto to participate in a Citizens' Dialogue 
  • Commissioner Günther Oettinger will be in Berlin to give a keynote speech at the conference 'How to lift Europe's virtual borders?'

8 November 

  • Vice-President Andrus Ansip will be in Lisbon to speak on 'A single market: facts and fiction' at the Web Summit

9 November 

  • Commissioner Oettinger will be in Rome to attend the Second Global 5G Event, organised by the 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership

10-11 November 

  • First Vice-President Timmermans will be in Helsinki to participate in a Citizens' Dialogue
European Parliament 
Committees

7- 8 November 

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). On the agenda

  • Exchange of views with Sir Julian King, Commission for the Security Union 
  • Adoption of draft opinion on contracts for the supply of digital content 
  • Consideration of draft report on the fundamental rights implications of Big Data: privacy, data protection, non-discrimination, security and law-enforcement 
  • Consideration of draft recommendation on the agreement between the United States of America and the EU on the protection of personal information relating to the prevention, investigation, detection, and prosecution of criminal offenses 

Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI). On the agenda

  • Exchange of views on the Cross-border exchange between the Union and third countries of accessible format copies of certain works and other subject-matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled 
  • Consideration of draft opinion on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, Regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services in view of changing market realities 
  • Adoption of draft opinion on the agreement between the United States of America and the EU on the protection of personal information relating to the prevention, investigation, detection, and prosecution of criminal offenses 
  • Exchange of views on geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers' nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the internal market 

8 November 

Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO). On the agenda

  • The constitutional relationship of the United Kingdom with the European Union: the consequences of the results of the referendum of 23 June 2016 

9 - 10 November 

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). On the agenda

  • Consideration of draft opinion addressing geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers' nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the internal market 

Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO). On the agenda

  • Consideration of amendments to the European Cloud Initiative 
  • Consideration of amendments to the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, Regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services in view of changing market realities 
  • Consideration of amendments to the annual report on EU Competition Policy 
EU Political Update

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