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Exports to the European Union from developing countries using special tariff preferences under the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) reached a new high of €69 billion in 2018.
The European Commission put forward a proposal to drive forward the EU accession process, by making it more credible, with a stronger political steer, more dynamic and predictable.
The European Commission has issued a recommendation to the Council to open negotiations on a new partnership with the United Kingdom. This recommendation is based on the existing European Council guidelines and conclusions, as well as on the Political Declaration agreed between the EU and the United Kingdom in October 2019.
1 February 2020 marks the first anniversary of the entry into force of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). In the first ten months following the implementation of the agreement, EU exports to Japan went up by 6.6% compared to the same period the year before.
The Council discussed current affairs, including the latest developments regarding Libya. Foreign ministers also exchanged views on the Sahel and climate diplomacy. Over a working lunch ministers discussed the Middle East peace process and issues concerning the wider region.
The Council discussed current affairs, focusing on Libya, and exchanged views on recent events in Iraq with a view to finding ways to de-escalate tensions in the region.
The European Commission published the latest report on protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in third countries. While developments have taken place since the publication of the previous report, concerns persist and a number of areas for improvement and action remain to be addressed.
The European Commission unveiled a proposal that will allow the European Union to protect its trade interests despite the paralysis of the multilateral dispute settlement system in the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The Council discussed EU-Africa relations and how the EU can better protect and promote human rights around the world. Foreign ministers also had an exchange of views on FAC's working methods.
MEPs call for more action to combat child trafficking and forced marriage, whilst stressing the crucial contribution that kids make in the fight against climate change.
The Council discussed the future financial architecture for sustainable development and neighbourhood, and how the EU and member states can better support the development of countries in transition, such as Ethiopia and Sudan. Development ministers also had an exchange of views with the Minister of Education of Ethiopia about learning challenges in Africa.
The Council discussed the state of play of negotiations in the World Trade Organization, and progress in its reform process. It also took stock of the latest developments regarding trade relations between the EU and the United States.
The Council focussed on Afghanistan and on the security situation in the Gulf region and Iran. Foreign ministers also had an exchange of views with the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) is being strengthened in terms of staff and technical equipment. It is also being given a broader mandate to support member states' activities, especially on border control, return and cooperation with third countries. The new regulation will incorporate the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) into the European Border and Coast Guard framework, to improve its functioning.
It will soon be easier and more profitable to trade with Singapore. The free trade agreement (FTA) signed by the European Union and the Republic of Singapore on 19 October 2018 is due to enter into force on 21 November 2019, as a consequence of the decision adopted by the Council today on the conclusion of this agreement.
The EU and China concluded the negotiations on a bilateral agreement to protect 100 European Geographical Indications (GI) in China and 100 Chinese GI in the EU against imitations and usurpation.
The European Council adopted conclusions on the MFF, the next institutional cycle, climate change, enlargement, Turkey, illegal drilling activities and MH17.