FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE
The 27 Member States of the European Union (EU) share a common trade policy. This means that the EU, its institutions and its Member States, act as a single jurisdiction on trade-related matters. International agreements concluded by the EU are binding on the EU Institutions and on the Member States. The legal basis for EU trade policy is Article 133 of the European Community (EC) Treaty. On this basis, the European Commission is responsible for negotiating on behalf of the Member States in consultation with a special committee, the so-called "133 Committee". The 133 Committee is composed of representatives from the 27 Member States and the European Commission. Its main function is to discuss and coordinate on a full range of trade policy issues affecting the EU, from the strategic issues of trade negotiations, to more specific issues regarding trade in individual products. In the 133 Committee, the European Commission receives the endorsement of EU Member States. Decision-making under Article 133 functions on the basis of qualified majority voting (QMV). Major formal decisions (for example an agreement to launch or conclude negotiations) are confirmed by the Council of the European Union.
GAIN report E48005 provides an overview of current and prospective EU bilateral and regional trade agreements. EU trade agreements can be classified into three general categories - (1) agreements with countries that are candidates or that can potentially become candidates for accession into the EU; (2) agreements with countries that are in the EU “geographic neighborhood,” or that are part of long-standing historical and cultural ties with Europe; (3) agreements with other countries that are of strategic importance to EU commercial interests. Given the very wide scope of ongoing trade negotiations, this report contains hypertext links to other sources of information. View the Acrobat version | Download the MS Word version
EU Norway Negotiations on Agricultural Products EU and
Norway have reached an agreement on agricultural products which is
expected to enter into force on January 1, 2011. The agreement includes
additional tariff quotas granted by Norway to the EU in respect of meat
and meat products, cereals, cheese, and fruit and vegetables.