Simplifying the European Commission’s ratification of EU international trade treaties, according to the body’s draft proposal, future conventions should not go through nearly 40 competent national and regional parliaments – the Politico Brussels news portal on Friday said.
According to this article, the committee intends to speed up the adoption of trade agreements and to avoid a situation like the ratification of a free trade agreement with Canada that the process has shortly failed because of the resistance of the 3.5 million Belgian province of Wallonia.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, is expected to talk about this in its September 13 assessment, and the Brussels body will present its proposals some days later, but it will still have to be approved by the Council of EU Member States.
The new model would break the agreements into two parts, the vast majority of the provisions of the commercial treaties being the exclusive competence of the EU, so that they should only be approved by the Council of Member States and the European Parliament. The approval of the parliaments of the Member States would only be needed in the case of provisions relating to foreign investment or dispute settlement between investors and states, which would simply be cut out of the agreements and accepted by other means.
This principle was stated by the European Court of Justice in its May constitutional judgment on the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Singapore.
Politician has reported that Juncker will initiate the opening of free trade negotiations as soon as possible with Australia and New Zealand.
According to experts, if this is the way to overcome the cumbersome ratification process, which is “the biggest weakness of the EU’s trade policy”, then a trade agreement that may enter into force after Brexit will be much easier to reach between the European Union and the United Kingdom.
“Contrary to public opinion, this does not mean that national parliaments lose their say,” said Marco Bronckers, a professor at the University of Leiden for the news site, adding that the governments of the Member States could also seek parliamentary opinion before ratification at EU level.