Select Committee on European Scrutiny Forty-First Report


16. ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT WITH CHILE


(23898)

11782/02

COM(02) 536


Draft Council Decision on the signature and provisional application of certain provisions of an Association Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Chile, of the other part.

Draft Council Decision on the conclusion of an Association Agreement between the European Community and its Member States of the one part, and the Republic of Chile, of the other part.

Legal base:Article 300(2) EC; assent; unanimity
Document originated:7 October 2002
Deposited in Parliament:24 October 2002
Department:Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Basis of consideration:EM of 29 October 2002
Previous Committee Report:None
To be discussed in Council:18 November 2002
Committee's assessment:Politically important
Committee's decision:Cleared

Background

  16.1  On 13 September 1999 the Council approved a mandate for the Commission to negotiate an EU — Chile Association Agreement. The Commission and Chile initialled the text of an agreement on 10 June 2002, which, if concluded, will widen the scope of the existing EU- Chile Framework Co-operation Agreement of 1996[28] (which will be replaced by the new agreement).

The draft Council Decisions

  16.2  The proposed Council Decisions will provide for the signing of the Association Agreement, for its provisional application in relation to trade co-operation and institutional issues, and for conclusion of the Agreement. The Decisions provide for signature and conclusion on behalf of the European Community, but, as the subject-matter of the Agreement also falls within the competences of Member States, the latter will also need to sign, conclude and ratify the Agreement.

  16.3  The Agreement provides for co-operation between the Republic of Chile and the European Community and its Member States on a broad range of issues. It accordingly provides for a regular political dialogue on bilateral and international matters, with respect for democratic principles and human rights as established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights being regarded as an essential part of the Agreement. Detailed provisions concern the progressive liberalisation of trade in goods over a transitional period of ten years, in accordance with the rules of the World Trade Organisation, leading to a liberalisation of 97% of bilateral trade, including all trade in industrial goods.

  16.4  The Agreement also provides for the reciprocal liberalisation of trade in services, in accordance with the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Service, and non-discrimination provisions on investment. Provision is made for co-operation on a wide range of matters including competition policy, education and training, science and technology, environmental issues, agriculture, public administration, transport, tourism, telecommunications and information technology. The Agreement also provides for cooperation and the exchange of information in relation to counter-terrorism, organised crime and drug trafficking and addiction.

  16.5  The Agreement provides for an Association Council, to meet at least every two years, to examine issues arising within the scope of the Agreement.

The Government's view

  16.6  In his Explanatory Memorandum of 29 October 2002 the Minister for Europe at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr Denis MacShane) explains that the main objectives of the Agreement are to provide an appropriate and comprehensive framework for political dialogue, to strengthen co-operation and to expand and diversify trade between the Community and Chile. The Minister points out that the Agreement is one of mixed competence and will be signed and concluded by the Member States, as well as by the Community. The Minister adds that the Agreement does not impose any new burdens on business, but that, on the contrary, it will bring new opportunities to UK exporters.

Conclusion

  16.7  Like the Minister, we welcome this latest agreement with the Republic of Chile. We have no questions to raise on the document and we are content to clear it.


28  OJ No. L42 of 16.2.1996. This agreement replaced an earlier agreement concluded in 1991. Back


 
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