EU

Dutch Elections 2017

General elections were held in the Netherlands on Wednesday 15 March 2017 to elect 150 members of the House of Representatives

Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders of the PVV party and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (L) of the VVD Liberal party take part in the "EenVandaag" debate in Rotterdam, Netherlands, March 13, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman ORG XMIT: CHM37

Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders of the PVV party and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (L) of the VVD Liberal party take part in the “EenVandaag” debate in Rotterdam, Netherlands, March 13, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

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Dutch election | Deutsche Welle

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2017 Elections | Dutch News

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Dutch Elections | Express

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European Commission imposes definitive anti-dumping duties on imports of heavy steel plates from China | European Commission – Daily News

The Commission has decided to impose definitive anti-dumping duties on imports of heavy steel plates from China.  The Commission’s investigation found Chinese companies to be heavily dumping their products on the EU market.  The investigation revealed dumping margins of between 120% and 127%. This unfair competition is causing material injury to the EU producers.  Most of the injury indicators clearly show a negative trend, in particular profitability and return on investments. Chinese exports of heavy steel plates will therefore be taxed with anti-dumping duties ranging from 65% to 73%. The duties are the same as those imposed provisionally in October and are at the level of the injury margin, based on the lesser duty rule. The Commission has responded forcefully and quickly to unfair competition, while at the same time ensuring that the rights of all interested parties have been protected.  The definitive measures announced today will help protect EU steel producers from the damaging effects of Chinese dumping. The Commission opened its investigation in February 2016. In line with the EU’s ‘Steel Communication’ of March 2016, the Commission has managed to impose both provisional and definitive measures well ahead of the usual legal deadlines. The EU currently has an unprecedented number of trade defence measures in place targeting unfair imports of steel products, with a total of 41 anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures, 18 of which are on products coming from China.

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EU exports to the US support 5 million jobs – new tool shows where and in what sectors | European Commission – Daily News

Companies exporting from Europe to the US are spread out right across Europe, and are based not just in cities but in thousands of small towns and even villages. This can be seen by exploring the wealth of data available through the Commission’s new data visualisation tool “EU-US trade in your town“. The tool allows users to find out where companies are located, what the most exported products are from any given region and to where in the US they are exported. For each town, the tool also gives information about its share in all the overall jobs linked to US exports, knowing that EU export to the US supports almost 5 million jobs in the EU.  Users of the tool will be able to get answers to questions such as: what are the most popular exports from Finnish Lapland, to the US? What is Thessaloniki’s share of all Greek jobs that are linked to exports to the US? And which American towns import products from Brussels, Belgium?  In total, more than 180,000 European companies export to the US today, and almost 90 percent of them are smaller firms with less than 250 employees. These companies would be the first beneficiaries of improved trade relations between the EU and the US. In total, 30 million jobs in the EU are linked to exports to other countries, and country-by-country information on how these jobs are spread out is also available here.

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New chapter of relations between the European Union and Cuba, thanks to first ever agreement | European Commission – Daily News

Today High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, Foreign Ministers of the European Union and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla signed the first ever agreement between the EU and Cuba. This Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement constitutes the new legal framework for EU-Cuba relations. It will facilitate an enhanced political dialogue, improved bilateral cooperation and the development of joint action in multilateral fora. The agreement aims to support the transition process of the Cuban economy and society. It promotes dialogue and cooperation to encourage sustainable development, democracy and human rights, and find shared solutions to global challenges. The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said: “We are truly at a turning point in the relations between the EU and Cuba. Together, we are moving towards a closer and more constructive partnership, one that reflects strong historic, economic and cultural ties that unite Europe and Cuba. Through the new agreement, the EU is ready to support Cuba’s process of economic and social modernisation, and I am looking forward to further advancing our bilateral relations.” Read also a factsheet and watch a short video on EU-Cuba relations.

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Trilateral gas talks between the European Commission, Russia and Ukraine on Friday in Brussels | European Commission – Announcements

Tomorrow, Friday, in Brussels, the European Commission is hosting a trilateral meeting with Russia and Ukraine on gas deliveries and gas transit. The talks, which will be chaired by Vice-President in charge of the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič, will be attended by Russia’s and Ukraine’s Ministers for Energy, Alexander Novak and Ihor Nasalyk, as well as top representatives of Naftogaz and Gazprom. The talks are scheduled to start at 1pm Brussels time. “I welcome the preparedness and commitment of both countries to meet here in Brussels for the gas trilaterals. Given the importance of energy relations between the European Union, Russia and Ukraine, continued dialogue is of great importance. I look forward to the trilateral talks, aiming to contribute at ensuring predictable and stable gas deliveries throughout the winter season”, said Vice-President Šefčovič ahead of the talks. There will be a press release issued upon conclusion of the meeting.

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Populism is not fascism, but it could be a harbinger, by S. Berman | Foreign Affairs Magazine

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As right-wing movements have mounted increasingly strong challenges to political establishments across Europe and North America, many commentators have drawn parallels to the rise of fascism during the 1920s and 1930s. Last year, a French court ruled that opponents of Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Front, had the right to call her a “fascist”—a right they have frequently exercised. This May, after Norbert Hofer, the leader of Austria’s Freedom Party, nearly won that country’s presidential election, The Guardian asked, “How can so many Austrians flirt with this barely disguised fascism?” And in an article that same month about the rise of Donald Trump, the Republican U.S. presidential candidate, the conservative columnist Robert Kagan warned, “This is how fascism comes to America.” “Fascist” has served as a generic term of political abuse for many decades, but for the first time in ages, mainstream observers are using it seriously to describe major politicians and parties.

Read the full Article here

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After CETA: the EU trade agreements that are in the pipeline | European Parliament- Article

EU countries are considering signing the free trade agreement with Canada this month, but the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) is far from the only deal the EU is working on. Various deals are being negotiated all over the globe, but they can only enter into force if the European Parliament approves them. Read on for an overview of negotiations in progress and a discussion of how it works.

Types of agreements

The EU has different types of agreements in place with countries. They can focus on reducing or eliminating tariff barriers or establishing a customs union by removing customs duties and establishing a joint customs tariff for foreign imports.

It’s not all about tariffs. It could also be about investment and how to deal with disputes involving investment. For example when a company feels a decision by a government is affecting its investment in that country. Non-tariff barriers are also vital such as product standards (for example the EU has banned certain hormones in cattle farming over health fears).

CETA

The negotiations for CETA finished in September 2014. The agreement is due to be discussed at the EU summit on 20-21 October in view of its potential signing later this month.

However, Parliament will still need to approve it before it can ultimately enter into force. The international trade committee is set to vote on the trade deal in December and then all MEPs will still have to vote on it during a plenary session. If approved, CETA could already enter into force next year.

Other trade agreements are also in the pipeline.

You can read the full article here

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The EU at the G20 summit | European Commission – Daily News

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk will represent the EU at the 11th G20 leaders’ summit, which takes place on 4 and 5 September in Hangzhou, China. On Sunday 4 September at 12:00 China standard time (6:00 am Brussels time) they will hold a joint pre-summit press conference in the G20 media centre. It will be transmitted live on EbS. A brochure titled “Did you know…? Facts and figures about the European Union and the G20”, has been published. It contains relevant statistics, facts and concrete policy examples on G20 matters and will be available in the Commission’s Press Release database here.

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EU-US negotiations on TTIP: State of Play | EP Think thank

At the conclusion of the 13th round of negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), held in New York in April 2016, discussions between the European Union and the United States had succeeded in covering all of the agreement’s chapters. The 14th round of negotiations takes place in Brussels from 11–15 July 2016.

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EU takes legal action against export restrictions on Chinese raw materials | European Commission – Daily News

The European Union launched today a third case against China’s restrictions on exports of raw materials essential for European industries. Following the successful legal actions in 2012 and 2014 on similar measures, this time the EU is focusing on restrictions concerning graphite, cobalt, copper, lead, chromium, magnesia, talcum, tantalum, tin, antimony and indium. “We cannot sit on our hands seeing our producers and consumers being hit by unfair trading practices. The past two WTO rulings on Chinese export restrictions have been crystal clear – these measures are against international trade rules. As we do not see China advancing to remove them all, we must take legal action,” said EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. China currently imposes a set of export restrictions, including export duties and export quotas that limit access to these products for companies outside China. These measures have distorted the market and favoured Chinese industry at the expense of companies and consumers in the EU, in violation of general WTO rules and also of China’s specific commitments from the time of its accession to the WTO. Also, their alleged aim to support an environmentally friendly and sustainable production of raw materials could be achieved more effectively with other measures, without negative impact on trade. The formal consultations between the EU and China – the first step in the WTO dispute settlement – will be conducted in parallel to a similar procedure initiated by the US. In absence of a satisfactory solution within 60 days, the EU may request the WTO to set up a panel to rule on the compatibility of China’s measures with WTO rules.

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