1st November 2014

EC sends EU-Singapore FTA to Court for opinion

On 30 October, the European Commission informed that it intends to ask the Court of Justice of the EU for an opinion concerning the EU-Singapore free trade agreement. The deal was mostly negotiated in September 2013, with the final investment clauses finalized on 17 October 2014. However, there are still competence questions to be resolved in order for the EC to have legal certainty. The Lisbon Treaty expanded EU competence in international trade agreements to more areas, including investment, but some specific questions still remain unanswered. The Court of Justice should clarify which provisions of the FTA deal are exclusive EU competence, shared competence and which remain Member State competence. It is only after obtaining answers to these questions that the ratification procedure can start. Otherwise the EC would risk future court challenges over lack of competence. The EC, however, stresses that this Court ruling will be specific to the EU-Singapore FTA and should not be regarded as an example for all future arrangements. The TTIP, for instance, is so wide and comprehensive that it will in any case have to undergo ratification also in the individual Member States.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic