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The European Commission has temporarily suspended efforts to ratify the investment agreement with China, EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday.
“We have … at the moment suspended some efforts to raise awareness of the Commission because it is clear that in the current situation with the EU sanctions against China and the Chinese counter-sanctions against members of the European Parliament, the environment is ratifying not conducive to the agreement, “Dombrovskis told the French news agency.
The deal was already on hold. Due to Beijing’s sanctions against European officials and scientists, the members of the European Parliament vowed never to ratify them. The European Commission has traditionally rejected the agreement, which was agreed in principle at the end of last year, very defensively, but the remarks by Dombrovskis are the clearest sign so far that the executive branch has now also grown to the rapidly deteriorating political climate in the last four months and is dragging on back despite strong German pressure to make the deal.
When asked if the deal would go any further, his spokeswoman said the technical aspects such as legal scrubbing were still ongoing, but commented on the subject of political ratification: “We’re not there yet.”
“The agreement now needs to be legally reviewed and translated before it can be submitted for adoption and ratification [investment agreement] cannot be separated from the evolving dynamics of the wider EU-China relationship, “she said.
“In this context, Chinese retaliatory measures against Members of the European Parliament and an entire parliamentary committee are unacceptable and deplorable. The prospects for that [agreement’s] Ratification will depend on how the situation develops, “she added.
This article is part of POLITICOPremium Policy Service Pro Trade. From transatlantic trade wars to the UK’s future trade relations with the EU and the rest of the world, Pro Trade gives you the insight you need to plan your next move. E-mail [email protected] for a free trial.