Last week, the EU announced it is to start free trade talks with two nations – Australia and the Philippines. As for Australia, this intention was declared on the margins of the G20 meeting in Turkey in a joint declaration of Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, representing the EU, and of Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia. Formal steps will be taken later. The process is expected to take several years.
Concerning Philippines, the decision was formally adopted by the Council – this process is thus more advanced. The Commission was given a formal go to launch and lead the talks on EU´s behalf, as is the standard procedure. The Philippines will be the 5th ASEAN country, with which the EU either negotiates (Malaysia and Thailand at the moment) or has already concluded the negotiations (Vietnam, Singapore). This country-by-country approach was initiated after the EU-ASEAN region-to-region talks were scrapped in 2009.
19th June 2018