The European Union and Singapore announced today (16 December) that they have reached an agreement on a free trade agreement 33 months after formal negotiations began. Last week, the EU won the support of the European Parliament for a regional trade agreement with six Central American countries and a trade agreement with Colombia and Peru. The Commission hopes to conclude another agreement – with Canada – before the end of the year. However, it is struggling to make progress in the talks with India that began in 2007. In November, it received a mandate to begin discussions on the EU`s largest trade agreement with Japan to date. Cecilia Malmstrom, European Commissioner for Trade, said: “This agreement will strengthen our bilateral relations, strengthen the EU`s commitment to Asean and show strong support for the rules-based international order.” The EU and Singapore meet regularly to discuss issues and best practices in implementing the agreement. Committees meet regularly. The free trade agreement offers 70 years of copyright protection. Singapore-based producers may collect broadcasting and public performance licence fees for production exported to the EU. The separate investment protection agreement must also be approved individually by each EU member state. On 16 May 2017, the European Court of Justice (Court of Justice) gave its opinion on the competence of the European Union to conclude the free trade agreement with Singapore.
The opinion recognises the exclusive competence of the EU for most of the agreement and has largely resolved a long-running dispute between the Commission and Member States over the distribution of powers under the Lisbon Treaty. The agreement is the first between the EU and an Asean member state. For the free trade agreement to enter into force, the EU (parliament and council) and Singapore must ratify the agreement. On 13 February 2019, the European Parliament approved both the free trade agreement and the investment protection agreement, and the free trade agreement is expected to enter into force as soon as possible.   The European Parliament approved the agreements on 13 February 2019. EU member states approved the trade agreement on 8 November 2019. It came into force on November 21, 2019. The investment protection agreement will enter into force after being ratified by all EU Member States according to their own national procedures. “Let`s be clear: the constitutional complaint is not directed against the European Union, nor against international trade,” said Roman Huber, executive chairman of the organization More Democracy. However, if the EU succeeds in implementing its EU strategy, the ECIA will be followed by dozens of other agreements that will respect the right of member states` parliaments to participate in crucial issues.
This weakens democracy in Europe. The success of the talks was announced today, although the conditions for protecting European investment in Singapore have not yet been clarified. Since the Lisbon Treaty came into force in 2009, the EU has been able to negotiate investment protection rules on behalf of the 27 Member States. The Commission hopes that the agreement will be concluded in the spring. Subsequently, the approval of the EU Member States and the European Parliament is required before the agreement enters into force. The Commission wants the process to be completed by the end of 2013. In an opinion dated 21 December 2016, the EU`s Advocate General, Eleanor Sharpston, QC, concluded that the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) was a step away from the European Union and the joint Member States, namely.