Legislative proposal  
2018/0091(NLE) - 29/06/2018  

PURPOSE: conclusion of the economic partnership agreement between the European Union and Japan.

PROPOSED ACT: Council Decision.

ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Council may adopt the act only if Parliament has given its consent to the act.

BACKGROUND: the agreement between the European Union and Japan on an economic partnership (EPA) has been signed and the agreement must now be approved.

CONTENT: the draft Council decision seeks approval of the agreement between the European Union and Japan on an economic partnership.

The objectives of the agreement are to liberalise and facilitate trade and investment and to promote closer economic relations between the Parties. The EU-Japan free trade agreement will create an open trade zone covering 600 million people and representing nearly a third of the world's GDP.

When fully implemented, the agreement:

  • remove 99% of tariffs applied to EU exports to Japan and also remove several regulatory barriers;
  • create significant new opportunities for EU agricultural exports by removing existing Japanese tariffs on products such as cheese or wines, while protecting EU intellectual property rights on Japanese markets;
  • shall also open up services markets and significantly increase EU companies' access to Japanese public procurement markets.

The EPA is based on the highest standards of labour, safety, environment and consumer protection.

In order to ensure an efficient operation of the wine export facilitation system provided for in the Agreement, the Commission shall be authorised to temporarily suspend, on behalf of the Union and as provided for in the Agreement, the acceptance of self-certification of wine products as set out in the Agreement. The Commission should also be authorised to terminate that temporary suspension on behalf of the Union. The Commission shall also be empowered to terminate this temporary suspension on behalf of the Union.

The Commission shall also be empowered by the Council to approve, on behalf of the Union, certain modifications to the Agreement.

For further details on the results of the negotiations, see also the summary of the Commission's original legislative proposal dated 18.4.2018.