Ref. :  000008442
Date :  2003-09-08
Language :  English
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Key areas for decision in Cancun


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AGRICULTURE

EU position: Trade in agriculture is a key issue. The EU objective is to find a balance between market opening and preservation of a viable countryside, and not just in the EU, but around the world. Europe, and many others, including a number of developing countries, have made a political choice to support their agriculture because it is not just another economic activity. It plays a part in conserving the environment, food safety or in animal welfare.

Is the European Union "protectionist"? Let the figures speak for themselves. The EU is the world's leading importer of farm products, worth nearly €60 billion in 2001. We alone import as much from the developing countries as the US, Japan, Canada and Australia combined. Since we grant so many preferences to the developing countries, the real level of our customs duties is around 10%. Not withstanding this solid base of trade, we put a further ambitious package on the table in January: we proposed reducing customs duties by 36%, reducing export subsidies by 45% and reducing trade-distorting aids by over 55%. And then in June came a further reform of the EU's common agricultural policy, which enables us to continue supporting our agriculture, but moving further away from trade distorting practices. And most recently of all, in mid-August the EU and the US agreed to present a common initiative on agriculture, to pave the way for progress in Cancun towards an overall agreement in the Doha negotiations.

Decision to take in Cancun: Cancun needs to adopt a framework for the further commitments and related disciplines on key outstanding issues on market access, export competition and domestic support. The EU has significantly contributed to the possibilities of making Cancun a success through the EU-US joint initiative on agriculture in August and the text in the draft declaration - despite being unbalanced - represents progress.

For further information:

Trade and agriculture:
DG Agriculture website:
FAQs: The WTO and EU agriculture:



TRADE IN GOODS

EU position: "Trade" used to be largely about industrial goods, and that was the focus of the first Trade Rounds: tariffs and quotas. We have steadily reduced them ever since. But there is still work to be done, and it is pretty urgent for all WTO players as manufactures account for over 70% of the developing countries' exports. In the spirit of Doha, the EU has made its partners a substantial offer that would keep customs duties within a narrow bracket and prevent tariff peaks for some products. We have even suggested doing away with export restrictions on raw materials and giving everyone zero rating for textiles and clothing, which are the developing countries' main exports. Again, we have made progress on this with a number of our principal trading partners, and have worked with them to find a deal, which is particularly fair to developing country players. Clinching agreement on an overall approach will be one of the key priorities in Cancun.

Decision to take in Cancun: Cancun should establish the "modalities" and set the timetable for the remainder of the negotiations. Again, progress has been made, although the proposals in the current draft declaration remain excessively modest in their ambition.

For further information:

Trade in industrial goods web page:
Textiles web page:



SERVICES

EU position: Trade in services is another big item on the negotiating agenda. What does it cover? Services are at the heart of the EU economies: information technology, advisory services, banking, insurance, distribution, transport, tourism.,. And they are the most dynamic sector of the economy, accounting for two-thirds of European gross domestic product (GDP) and two-thirds of our jobs: 110 million people work in this sector. Services are also crucial for the economies of other countries, they account for 50% of the developing countries' GDP, for instance. 15 of the world's 40 leading service exporters are from developing countries.

However, their share of international trade does not always reflect the crucial and growing role they play in the world economy. Developing countries are pressing for an opening of these markets, including the temporary movement of professional service providers.

Decision to take in Cancun: Ministers should urge those that may not already have done so to submit initial offers, encourage improvements to existing offers, and establish a clear roadmap for completing the negotiations.

For further information:

Trade in services web page:



MEDICINES

EU position: It seems self-evident that people suffering from the three major infectious diseases — Aids, tuberculosis and malaria — should have access to medicines. However, WTO members have been divided for many months on this issue, with the US most reluctant to agree to a solution. It is an urgent problem and we cannot ignore it. Broadly speaking, the idea is to make an exception to intellectual property rules, which rightly protect pharmaceutical research, by authorising developing countries to produce or buy generic medicines more cheaply. The outstanding issue involved developing countries with no capacity to produce medicines and which therefore need to import generic drugs (medicines not under patents). And finally, on the eve of Cancun an agreement has been reached! Urged by the EU, the US has finally rallied the consensus found by the remaining 145 WTO members in December 2002. This is a strong signal of our collective ability to regulate globalisation. It is a clear sign that the WTO can take a practical, pragmatic approach to help save lives.

Decision to take in Cancun: the Cancun conference will be able to take note of the definitive solution to this issue with agreement on the text which has been on the table since 16 December 2002. This agreement will ultimately result in an amendment of the TRIPs Agreement. It shows the ability of the WTO membership to take action in favour of solving societal problems such as access to important medicine for developing countries

For further information:

Access to medicines web page:



Better rules for International Trade

EU position: This means new rules to ensure that the benefits of open trade are evenly spread: investment, competition, trade facilitation and transparency in government procurement. It is not about standardising but rather establishing a minimum set of rules for everyone which are non-discriminatory, transparent and predictable, something which is particularly important for developing countries. We realise the additional negotiating effort this exercise demands from developing countries. Hence the emphasis on technical assistance to help them adjust their domestic legislation later.

Decision to take in Cancun: WTO members need to take decisions on the negotiating modalities for each of these four issues, so that negotiations can start immediately after Cancun and conclude successfully by the end of 2004, along with the other issues in the DDA.

For further information:

Trade and competition web page:
Trade facilitation web page:
Trade and investment web page:
Government procurement web page:



ENVIRONMENT

EU position: Trade does have an impact on the environment. If we want to be true to the commitments given in numerous summits on sustainable development, we have to be ready to act on them in the WTO, too. But again, we have had to persuade people that this is not so much protectionism in disguise as ensuring that environmental considerations are not unfairly excluded from the WTO's work.

Decision to take in Cancun: the EU is calling on WTO members to agree in Cancun on the observership of UNEP and of the Secretariats of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA) to the WTO Trade and Environment negotiations and to intensify work on environmental labelling. Also in this field, the draft declaration needs significant improvement.

For further information:

Trade and environment web page:



GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS

EU position: Some products are unique because of where they are produced ('champagne’, ‘parma ham’, ‘stilton cheese’, ‘basmati rice’): their origin determines their characteristic qualities and their added value. Thus, the geographical indication is a guarantee to the consumer of quality and taste and for the producers the reputation of their product is safe. EU exports of products with geographical indications amount to €20 to €40 billion per year and sustain 1.5 million jobs. Many developing countries also have potential GIs to protect and to export. The EU, together with a group of WTO Members, including several developing countries, deems that this enhanced protection should be extended to other agricultural products such as foodstuffs (rice, cheese, hams, teas…), handicraft and other industrial goods. In addition, the EU believes that GI protection could generally be made more effective through a multilateral system of notification and registration, given that today, protection needs to be sought on a country-by-country basis. As this is costly and cumbersome, WTO Members agreed to set up a multilateral register system by the time of the Cancun conference.

Decision to take in Cancun: Cancun should confirm the outcome of the negotiations on the multilateral register on wines and spirits, take forward the negotiations on the extension of additional protection to other products and in the context of the agriculture negotiations ensure that a number of EU geographical indications currently used in other countries are protected from usurpation.

For further information:

TRIPs web page:



The EU is taking the lead to make Cancun a success

The importance the EU attaches to the Cancun conference is underscored by the Council conclusions of 21 July 2003, which renew the Member States’ support for the Commission's approach and demonstrates to other WTO partners the EU's political commitment.
Support for a successful Cancun conference and for a comprehensive and ambitious outcome of the DDA continues to grow among WTO members. Traditional partners such as Japan and the US are firmly in support of the Cancun conference but an increasing number of developing countries - whose importance and weight in the WTO continue to grow - are putting their full weight behind the process thus adding significantly to the overall momentum behind the DDA.
In this final phase towards Cancun, EU will continue to build alliances and work together with a very broad range of both developed and developing countries and take initiatives with key partners. Cancun will only be a success if it meets the expectations of all WTO members.





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 flecheClimate change: Commission proposes strategy to curb greenhouse gas emissions from air travel
 flecheEuropean Day of Languages: half of the EU’s population can speak a language other than their mother tongue
 flecheDéclaration, au nom de l'Union européenne, sur la reprise unilatérale par l'Iran des activités de conversion de l'uranium dans l'usine d'Ispahan
 flecheEuropean Commission welcomes Israeli disengagement from Gaza and prepares further measures to support the peace process
 flecheAvian Influenza: Commission asks Member States to step up surveillance
 flecheEuropean Commission actions in the field of aviation safety
 flecheEuropean Commission mobilizes extra €58 M to the Global Fund to accelerate the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in developing countries
 flecheEuropean Commission launches a four-year Campaign to raise public awareness on sustainable energy
 flecheCounterfeiting and piracy: the Commission proposes European criminal-law provisions to combat infringements of intellectual property rights
 flecheA European Union Agency to protect and promote fundamental rights
 flecheFunding for European cinema: significant increase in new Member States’ applications for EU support
 flecheEuropean Documentation Centres
 flecheEuropean documentation centres in the European Union
 flecheDecision of the european parlement and of the concil establishing for the period 2007-2013 the programme "Citizens for Europe"to promote active European citizenship
 fleche La BEI et la Banque Mondiale intensifient leur coopération sur les Pays Partenaires Méditerranéens
 flecheConférence de presse pré Conseil européen de M. José Manuel BARROSO, Président de la Commission européenne
 flecheCultural diversity : a major step towards the adoption of a UNESCO Convention
 flecheAnother successful year for Erasmus : student and teacher mobility rose by almost 10% in 2003/2004
 flecheEU Trade Commissioner urges African Trade Ministers: make Doha the “Round for Africa”
 flecheCommission paves the way for renewal of EU Sustainable Development Strategy
 flecheThe Doha Development Agenda
 flecheCommission presents a set of proposals for enlarging the Schengen area to the new member states

 flecheAddressing the concerns of young people in Europe: the Commission adopts a communication on youth policies
 fleche Environment: Green Week 2005 gets to grips with climate change
 flecheCommission White Paper on market access for developing countries: opening the door to development

 flecheCommission tables first elements for a genuine European Space Policy
 flecheThird progress report on economic and social cohesion
 flecheThe EU and the US: a bilateral partnership for global solutions
 flecheChinese textiles imports investigation: use of the urgency procedure
 flecheEU proposes WTO consultations with China on two textile product categories
 fleche Partenariat Union européenne/États-Unis: la Commission propose de renforcer les relations économiques et politiques
 fleche President Barroso meets Afghan President Hamid Karzai – and announces details of Afghan reconstruction programmes for 2005/2006
 flecheNouveau site Web et budget de 6 millions d’euros pour l’établissement de relations en vue de la recherche de partenaires commerciaux appropriés dans l’Union européenne élargie
 fleche Mr Olli Rehn, Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enlargement
"Prioritisation: where should Turkey focus its energies"
Forum Istanbul - Istanbul, 5 May 2005

 flecheThe new Europe Direct information network: Europe on your doorstep
 flecheImproving and extending the use of ICT to make the most of Europe’s cultural and audiovisual heritage
 flecheThe European Union on your doorstep: new generation of information relays launched
 flecheEuropean Commission welcomes breakthrough in WTO agriculture talks
 flecheNew tools for knowledge and growth: EU scientists propose priorities for research infrastructures
 flecheClimate change: Commission hails entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol
 flecheWomen and the elderly are crossing the digital divide, but the poor still lag behind, says new EU report
 flecheTsunami: Commission takes further action to help rebuild fisheries and aquaculture sector in tsunami-hit areas
 flecheErasmus Mundus: 69 universités supplémentaires participent au programme
 flecheTranslating the Monterrey Consensus into Practice: the Contribution by the European Union
 fleche European Commission launches public debate on economic migration
 flecheCommission pledges €140 million to help eliminate the threat of anti-personnel land mines
 flecheEuropean handbook on integration
 flecheFirst European handbook on integration of immigrants presented by European Commission
 flecheEU-India Summit: towards a strategic partnership
 flecheQuestions for the general public concerning the future European Fundamental Rights Agency
 flecheDiscours de M. António Vitorino à la Conférence des Présidents des commissions compétentes en matière d'immigration des parlements de l'UE
 flecheEU-WTO: In WTO review of trade policy EU will stress its support for the multilateral trade system
 flecheWhat Europeans think of the EU’s farm policy
 flecheDeveloping countries: the Commission proposes system of trade preferences for 2006-2008
 flecheCommission appeals against WTO sugar ruling
 flecheEnlargement - Turkey's progress towards accession
 flecheLa Commission approuve un rapport sur la gouvernance européenne (2003-2004)
 flecheCommission launches new portal giving all citizens of the enlarged EU access to better information on their rights
 flecheCommission grants Euro 93 million to upgrade European Research and Education Internet (GÉANT)
 flecheStrengthening economic governance and improving the Stability and Growth Pact
 flecheCountdown 2015 - Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights for all : London, 31 August - 2 September 2004
 flecheGeneral information concerning in-service training (stages) with the European Commission
 flechePortail sur les possibilités d'éducation et de formation dans l'ensemble de l'espace européen
 flechePresident-designate Barroso unveils his team
 flecheImmigration & asylum : current state of play
 flecheBarroso, José Manuel
 flecheWith oil prices surging, Loyola de Palacio recalls the necessity of having a concerted European approach to the issue of security of energy supplies
 flecheEuropean Commission approves 5.75 million euros for crises in Asia

 flecheThe role of broadband networks in securing knowledge-based regions
 flecheThe humanitarian crisis in Greater Darfur, Sudan- response of the European Commission - UPDATE EU by far the biggest donor

 flecheEndangered wildlife: Commission wants tighter rules to protect wild animals and plants from unsustainable international trade
 flecheGeneral overview of active WTO dispute settlement cases involving the EC as complainant or defendant
 flecheEU’s Position on the Middle East Conflict
 flecheEU-Latin American and Caribbean Summit
 flecheLamy, Pascal
 flecheCox, Pat
 flecheProdi, Romano
 flecheEuropean Commission Statement on the European Parliament elections
 flecheCommission proposes action to secure the social dimension of globalisation
 flecheEU-Latin American and Caribbean Summit: moving the strategic partnership forward
 flecheEU takes action to foster international sustainable fishing
 flecheWTO-DDA: EU ready to go the extra mile in three key areas of the talks
 flecheStatement of President Prodi on enlargement
 flecheCommission takes further steps to ensure access to medicines for poor countries
 flecheCroatia: Commission recommends opening of accession negotiations
 flecheCommission prepares the necessary steps to welcome a united Cyprus into the European Union on 1 May 2004
 flecheWTO India - GSP: WTO confirms differentiation among developing countries is possible
 flecheCommission adopts new safe harbour for licensing of patents, know-how and software copyright
 flecheAir pollution: Commission takes legal action against 10 Member States
 flecheCommission Spring Economic Forecasts 2004 -2005 for the euro area, the European Union and the Acceding and Candidate countries
 flecheCommission recommends concrete action to promote growth and employment in the enlarged Union
 flecheEurope needs more scientists: EU blueprint for action
 flecheThe European Commission and Philip Morris International confirm discussions
 flecheNew EU Centre for Disease Prevention and Control adopted
 flechePresidency Conclusions Brussels European Council 25/26 march 2004
 flecheCommission concludes on Microsoft investigation, imposes conduct remedies and a fine
 flecheKey data on health 2002 Health in the EU under the microscope
 flecheEU acts to increase transparency, efficiency and predictability in the use of trade defence
 flecheEU-Canada: Commission agrees design of future EU-Canada Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement
 flecheBiodiversity: Commission sounds alarm on need to reduce global biodiversity loss
 flecheDeveloping countries: Commission adopts action plan to help developing countries fight agricultural commodity dependency and support the development of the cotton sector in Africa
 flecheEuropean Union signs landmark tourism accord with China today in Beijing
 flecheLa Commission appelle à un renforcement des relations entre l'UE et la Russie
 flecheTrade implications of EU enlargement: Facts and Figures
 flecheThe future of WTO
 flecheWestern Balkans proceed with economic transition
 flecheRomano Prodi President of the European Commission. 2004 Spring Report. Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament.
 flecheCommission reports on progress towards meeting 'Johannesburg' commitments
 flecheEuropean Research Network extended to the Balkans with EU Support
 flecheCommission calls on Member States to keep up the momentum in tackling poverty and social exclusion
 flecheEuropean Commission stands behind the Kyoto Protocol
 flecheUS Steel: EU welcomes termination of US steel safeguard measure
 flecheCommission launches preparations for Balkan participation in Community programmes
 flecheWTO and agriculture: Fischler's five tests to kick-start stalled talks
 flechePresident Prodi statement World Aids Day
 flecheEC action against HIV/AIDS
 fleche2003 review of the EU economy: On the verge of new patterns of economic growth?
 flecheEU- WTO: European Commission proposes to put Doha Round of trade talks back on track
 flecheCommission discusses amendments to EU Constitution
 flecheEU-India Summit: An opportunity to strengthen relations
 flecheCommission adopts five new humanitarian aid decisions worth over EUR 11.5 million
 flecheCommission and United Nations join forces to launch humanitarian appeals for 2004
 flecheCommission proceeds with excessive deficit procedure for Germany
 flecheEU-Mercosur: Ministerial meeting to roadmap free trade negotiations
 flecheState of play on GMO authorisations under EU law
 flecheComenius Week
Highlighting the European dimension at school

 flecheBulgaria, Romania and Turkey make significant progress towards accession criteria
 flecheAcceding countries expected to be ready for accession, urged to tackle remaining issues
 flecheForeign Sales Corporations (FSC): Commission prepares for the imposition of countermeasures on US products
 flecheEU/Russia Summit, Rome, 6 November
 flecheRemoving obstacles to development: Commission proposes EUR 250 million to support African-led peace keeping operations in Africa
 flecheAccelerating the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria: Commission commits further EUR 170 million to the Global Fund
 flecheAfghanistan: Commission Proposes EUR 79.5 million for Fourth Reconstruction programme
 flecheEnvironmental democracy: Commission promotes citizens' involvement in environmental matters
 flecheEU Cohesion Policy: Commissioner Barnier visits Cyprus
 flecheSingle-hull oil tankers banned from European ports from 21 October 2003
 flecheHIV/AIDS: European Research provides clear proof that HIV virus cannot pass through condoms
 flecheA european knowledge society in a global community
 flecheCommission provides support to OLAF and Belgian authorities on investigation into fraud in grain trade prices
 flecheEU complies with WTO ruling on Hormone beef and calls on USA and Canada to lift trade sanctions
 flecheEU-Andean Community: Second Round of Negotiations for new Political Dialogue and Co-operation Agreement
 flecheEurobarometer : latest survey shows growing support for key EU policies in acceding countries
 flecheCommission acts to boost efficiency and flexibility of EU development assistance to benefit the poor
 flecheCommission proceeds with excessive deficit procedure for France assesses
 flecheCinedays 2003: long live European cinema!
 flecheEuropean industry leaders and EU policymakers meet to plan for security research
 flecheEuro area economy demonstrates initial signs of recovery
 flecheEuropean Commission, eight acceding countries and US sign Bilateral Investment Understanding
 flecheTrade in Cotton: constructive proposals to solve African problem
 flecheCommission adopts opinion on the European Constitution
 fleche"State of play of Agriculture Negotiations"
 flecheWorld cotton day: EU sympathises with concerns of African countries
 flecheEverything you wanted to know about Cancun
 flecheJoin EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy in an on-line chat September 4 2003
 flecheEuropean Commission regrets the request for a WTO panel on GMOs
 flecheEC and US propose a framework for a joint approach on agricultural questions in WTO
 flecheTrade in agricultural goods and fishery products. EU – US Joint Text on Agriculture

 flecheWTO Farm Talks/Cancun: EU’s Fischler calls for renewed effort to bridge differences
 flecheEU-US Summit - Washington
 flecheThessaloniki European Council - Presidency Conclusions
 flecheAccess to medicines: EU clears plan to ensure delivery of cheap medicines to developing countries
 flecheLe Conseil Éducation adopte les critères de référence européens
 flecheOMC SERVICES - L'UE propose d'améliorer les échanges commerciaux - au bénéfice des pays en développement
 flecheLa Commission propose de créer un Fonds européen pour l'eau doté d'un budget d'1 milliard d'euros
 flecheEU survey results: Europe goes on-line for health information, but still prefers more traditional sources
 flecheLa lutte contre les maladies transmissibles dans les pays en développement: la Commission resserre son programme d'action
 flecheMultilingualism in the European Commission: A long-standing tradition and an asset to the European Union
 flecheSustainable agriculture for developing countries: the options offered by life sciences and biotechnology
 fleche'Your Voice in Europe': new Commission portal aims to give citizens a bigger role in policy making
 flecheAgriculture: plus grande ouverture du marché et réduction du soutien faussant les échanges
 flecheCombating digital illiteracy, promoting virtual campuses and virtual twinning of schools: the e-learning programme's aims (2004-2006)
 flecheLa Commission place la politique industrielle au premier plan de ses préoccupations
 flechePascal Lamy salue l'achèvement des négociations sur l'adhésion de l'Arménie à l'OMC
 flecheForum européen du tourisme: promotion du développement durable dans le tourisme
 flecheLibéralisation des services : l'Union européenne lance un consultation publique sur les demandes pour l'accès au marché européen
 flecheEU - Russia economic and trade relations: an overview
 flecheL'Union européenne va négocier des accords de partenariat avec des Etats d'Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique
 flecheL’UE poursuit sa bataille pour étendre l’accès aux médicaments pour les pays en développement
 flecheL'Europe lance un partenariat avec les pays en voie de développement pour lutter contre le sida, la malaria et la tuberculose
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