January 16, 2019: The massive rejection of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Bill yesterday supercharges the drama over the future of Europe and the future of trade and investment deals world-wide.
EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement
25 September 2018: A recent article in The Conversation by public health experts confirms that the EU is seeking stronger monopolies on medicines, including the most expensive biologic medicines used to treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases. This would delay the availability of cheaper versions of those medicines. If Australia agrees, these provisions would have the likely effect of extending the period for which Australia subsidises already very expensive medicines.
June 27, 2018: On Monday, the European Union published its “Negotiating Directives” for its proposed free trade agreement with Australia, but the Australian government hasn’t matched this level of transparency by publishing its own objectives.
Media Release, May 23, 2018: “ We welcome the fact that the EU mandate for the EU Australia FTA talks has dumped the controversial rights for foreign investors to sue governments in international tribunals, known as ISDS, because European courts have found that ISDS cases have undermined democratic regulation.
23 May, 2018: SBS news reported yesterday that the European Union has authorised negotiations for a free-trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and Australia, as well as the EU and New Zealand. Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo told SBS News that he hopes the FTA negotiations will commence ‘very soon’.
April 5, 2018: A report by the French Veblen Institute and environmental groups urges the European Union to make specific amendments to the EU-Canada and other agreements to ensure that trade agreements do not undermine the 2016 Paris climate agreement and that governments make enforceable commitments to implement the Paris agreement.
April 3, 2018: The European Court of Justice ruled in March that Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) between two EU member states, which allows corporations to sue governments for damages over changes in domestic law, has an adverse effect on the autonomy of EU law, and is therefore incompatible with EU law.
On 16 May 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued the long-awaited landmark Opinion 2/15 on the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA). According to the CJEU, the agreement falls under the EU’s powers, but not entirely. EU Member States’ national and regional parliaments and the European Parliament must ratify some important provisions regarding investors, particularly ISDS.