Deputy Minister for Development and Competitiveness, Notis Mitarachi, in his capacity as President of the Council of the European Union - Foreign Affairs (Trade), is visiting Brussels on Monday, 20 January and Tuesday, 21 January, to present the priorities of the Hellenic Presidency of the EU to the competent INTA Committee of the European Parliament and to meet with Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht.
The priorities of the Hellenic Presidency that will be presented to the INTA Committee at the European Parliament include:
I. Country Oriented (Vertical) Priorities
Facilitation of the dialogue between Member States themselves, as well as between the Council, the Parliament and the European Commission, in order to contribute to the fine tuning the EU negotiating strategy concerning Bilateral Trade Agreements, such as : The TTIP negotiations (also in view of the Informal Ministerial Council in Athens in February 2014); the CETA with Canada; EU/Japan FTA negotiations (possibly to be reviewed in the Formal Meeting in Brussels in May; talks with China, Mediterranean and Gulf countries, as the Presidency places special emphasis on the relations with these countries, especially in terms of bilateral agreements that are under negotiation; and EU-Mercosur.
II. Thematic (Horizontal) Priorities, such as EU Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs) & Protected Designation of Origin (PDOs), whose goal is to achieve increased protection and world market access for European high-quality agricultural products and high added-value food products; The Maritime aspect of Trade Policy, given that seaborne trade constitutes 90 percent of total trade between the EU and third countries and 40 percent of intra-EU trade. Thus, the Presidency will work to ensure that all EU trade agreements with third countries contain standard articles on maritime transport and on the liberalization of maritime services in particular.
III. Multilateral Agreements, such as the WTO - post Bali work, where a more strategic debate on the direction we want the WTO to take must start; and the reduction of Non tariff barriers to improve market access, a process that clearly constitutes a priority.
IV. Legislative Work: The presidency will act as an honest broker between Parliament and Council with a view of finally adopting the following legislative proposals:
• Proposal on financial responsibility linked to investor/state dispute resolution • Proposal for an EU Regulation concerning Enforcement of Trade Rules
• Government Procurement Instrument, Proposal for a Regulation and Trade Defense
• Instruments Modernization..
Concerning the meeting with the Commissioner, Deputy minister Mitarachi shall discuss with Karel De Gucht the above priorities as well as preparatory issues regarding the informal FAC/Trade meeting in Athens (27-28.2.2014).