The EU has concluded trade agreements with these countries/regions, but both sides are negotiating an update. In some circumstances, trade negotiations with a trading partner have been concluded, but they have not yet been signed or ratified. This means that the negotiations are over, but no part of the agreement is yet in force. Of course, this clear separation does not mean that the ratification of free trade agreements lacks democratic legitimacy. Trade policy falls within the competence of the EU; Since the Treaty of Lisbon, trade agreements have had to be ratified by the European Parliament. Nevertheless, the parliaments of the Member States should be informed in a timely and full manner of the negotiations on free trade agreements in order to allow for a well-informed public debate. A transparent negotiation process also includes the publication of the European Commission`s negotiating mandates. The Court of Justice of the European Communities has ruled that the provisions of investor-state arbitration (including a special tribunal provided for in certain free trade agreements) fall within the competence of the European Union and its Member States and that, for this reason, their ratification should be approved by both the EU and each of the 28 States.  The 4th EU Report on the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement (other languages), published in November 2020 by Sabine Weyand, Director-General for Trade, in the preface (other languages), provides an overview of the results achieved in 2019 and the ongoing work for the EU`s 36 main preferential trade agreements. The working document attached by the Commission services contains detailed information under the trade and partner agreements. The EU`s modern free trade agreements intend to do more than reduce tariffs.
In addition, they aim to improve market access by removing non-tariff barriers (e.g. B through regulatory cooperation), liberalizing trade in services and opening up public procurement. These agreements go far beyond the WTO framework. These include competition rules, access to foreign direct investment and rules ensuring sustainability (labour and environmental protection). The EU is working to modernise the older agreements with Chile and Mexico, which contain only fundamental economic aspects. The European Commission reports annually on the implementation of its main trade agreements during the previous calendar year. However, negotiations on free trade agreements have become increasingly controversial among the general public. The negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the EU-US free trade agreement, were an example of this. Negotiations on the EU-Canada Free Trade Agreement (CETA) have also been controversial. For months, the bitter struggle of political actors has seriously challenged the effectiveness and reliability of European decision-making on trade policy and has undermined the EU`s international credibility and effectiveness. In line with ECJ directives, the EU is now developing free trade agreements to ensure that they remain the exclusive competence of the EU.
Therefore, areas such as investor-state dispute settlement and portfolio investments need to be negotiated in separate agreements. This clear division of areas into different agreements makes it possible to ratify and enforce free trade agreements quickly and reliably by European legislators. Such a separation is not possible, however, if trade agreements are an integral part of political association agreements (e.g. B with Ukraine, Mexico, Mercosur, etc.). These contracts remain mixed, if only because of the components of foreign and security policy (the EU-Mercosur negotiations are based on a 20-year-old mandate and do not involve investor-state dispute settlement). One study showed that trade agreements implemented by the EU between 1993 and 2013 “reduced adjusted prices by almost 7%.”  Fact sheets, Vietnamese trade in your city, texts of agreements, stories of exporters The EU has concluded free trade agreements (LEAs) with countries around the world. . . .