Today, the European Court of Justice gave its judgement on which parts of the EU-Singapore Trade Agreement fall into the EU's exclusive competence. The Court ruled that most parts of the agreement fall within the EU's exclusive competence. Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66), responds.
"The EU has a stronger and more credible negotiating position if the trade agreements we conclude can be ratified at the European level. Today's court ruling provides much-needed legal clarity on the division of competence between the EU and its Member States when it comes to trade agreements.”
“We must now consider whether it would be better to aim for negotiating mandates and agreements which can be ratified at EU level and touch only on EU competence, for example by negotiating the 'mixed parts' of the agreement on a separate track. In the past, mixed agreements have taken years to achieve full ratification. In order to conduct an ambitious trade policy and make sure our citizens feel the benefits of rules-based trade, swift ratification of agreements is key."
“While the Court has answered a legal question, Member States now need to answer a political one. How do they want to make sure that the EU can remain a global trading power and a credible negotiator on the world stage? In the face of protectionist mercantilism from the US and renewed assertiveness from China, the EU needs to be ambitious. Even if national Parliaments do not have direct vote on ratification, they still have plenty of avenues to be actively involved in negotiations, because they have access to documents and are always in a position to hold their national trade minister to account."