Verenigd Koninkrijk

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Op 24 december 2020 hebben de EU en het VK met succes een handels- en samenwerkingsovereenkomst gesloten, na lange en complexe onderhandelingen. Vanaf 1 januari was deze overeenkomst voorlopig van toepassing, totdat de Raad en het Europees Parlement het ratificatieproces hadden afgerond. Naar analogie van andere recente vrijhandelsovereenkomsten bevat ook deze overeenkomst specifieke bepalingen over een dialoog met het maatschappelijk middenveld. Het EESC, een belangrijke speler in die dialoog, heeft daarom een besluit genomen over een institutionele structuur om de betrekkingen met het VK en zijn maatschappelijke organisaties (bedrijfsleven, vakbonden en andere organisaties) te bevorderen, alsook over een orgaan dat toezicht houdt op de handels- en samenwerkingsovereenkomst.

Deze nieuwe opzet, die niet alleen is aangepast in het licht van het gesloten akkoord en de nieuwe betrekkingen tussen de EU en het VK, maar ook aan de recente institutionele ontwikkelingen in de EG, omvat:

  • het follow-upcomité EU-VK, de politieke opvolger van de follow-upgroep Brexit en een EESC-comité waarin we onze eigen agenda en prioriteiten kunnen bepalen om de nieuwe realiteit het hoofd te kunnen bieden;
  • de interne adviesgroep van de EU in het kader van de handels- en samenwerkingsovereenkomst tussen de EU en het VK, de institutionele pijler van het maatschappelijk middenveld in de handelsbetrekkingen tussen de EU en het VK.

Nu de toekomstige betrekkingen tussen de twee partners zijn geregeld door middel van zo’n belangrijke en brede partnerschapsovereenkomst, is het EESC vast van plan om het potentieel hiervan te optimaliseren, met name ten aanzien van het maatschappelijk middenveld van het VK. Het EESC is vastbesloten om na de brexit nauw contact te houden met het maatschappelijk middenveld van het VK, overleg en uitwisseling aan te moedigen en maatschappelijke organisaties te betrekken bij de sociale besluitvorming, zodat de sterke economische, sociale en politieke banden die in de halve eeuw van het Britse EU-lidmaatschap zijn ontstaan intact blijven.

  • Adopted on 27/04/2023 - Bureau decision date: 21/03/2023
    Reference
    REX/574-EESC-2023
    Workers - GR II
    Plenary session number
    578
    -

    In accordance with the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, Regulation (EC) No 726/2004 and Directive 2001/83/EC as well as the Commission acts based on them, apply to and in the UK in respect of Northern Ireland.

     

    EESC opinion: Specific rules relating to medicinal products for human use intended to be placed on the market of Northern Ireland
  • Adopted on 27/04/2023 - Bureau decision date: 21/03/2023
    Reference
    REX/575-EESC-2023
    Diversity Europe - GR III
    Plenary session number
    578
    -

    In accordance with the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, a number of EU legislative acts concerning sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures apply to and in the UK in respect of Northern Ireland after the end of the transition period set out in the Withdrawal Agreement.

    Accordingly, the entry into Northern Ireland from other parts of the UK of certain consignments of products of animal or plant origin, including animal food, plants for planting, machinery and vehicles for agricultural or forestry purposes and seed potatoes falls within the scope of these acts and is subject to official controls, certification requirements and prohibitions. This also applies to non-commercial movements of certain pet animals.

    EESC opinion: Specific rules relating to the entry into Northern Ireland from other parts of the United Kingdom of certain consignments of goods
  • Adopted on 25/01/2023 - Bureau decision date: 22/09/2022
    Reference
    REX/563-EESC-2022-01-01
    Workers - GR II
    Ireland
    Plenary session number
    575
    -

    The general objective of the information report will be to feed into the political dialogue between the EU and UK and promote a joint reflection on their future relationship. More specifically, the information report will be transmitted to the relevant services in the European Commission, EEAS, European Parliament, and Council, as the EESC's contribution to addressing issues arising from the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement and Northern Ireland Protocol.

    Information report: The implementation of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • Adopted on 17/10/2018 - Bureau decision date: 18/09/2018
    Reference
    TEN/682-EESC-2018-01-01
    Diversity Europe - GR III
    Ireland

     

     

    EESC opinion: Ship inspection and survey organisations with regard to the United Kingdom's withdrawal proposal
  • In particular the EESC:

    • supports the adoption and early implementation of the proposed regulation, which ensures adequate sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards for a transparent, streamlined and safe supply of the market of Northern Ireland from other parts of the UK;
    • acknowledges the significant effort made to reconcile the facilitation of procedures, to safeguard the integrity of the EU internal market and the protection of public animal and plant health;
    • urges the Commission to further clarify and provide solutions for the areas of more apparent divergence between SPS standards in the UK and the EU;
  • In particular, the EESC: 

    • supports the adoption and early implementation of the proposed regulation, which would ensure continuity of supply of medicinal products for human use in Northern Ireland;
    • agrees that it is essential that the proposed regulation contains a provision enabling suspension of the specific rules by the Commission in the event of the UK's non-compliance;
    • encourages ongoing consultation with key stakeholders to help ensure timely implementation as well as monitoring for any future risks to the delivery of the objectives of the proposed regulation;

    ...

  • At its January plenary session, the EESC adopted an information report on the Implementation of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland. The report shows that UK organised civil society is strongly in favour of a deeper and more constructive relationship with their EU counterparts and the EU as a whole. This could contribute to the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and help maximise the potential of the EU-UK Trade Cooperation Agreement.

  • The 6th meeting of the EU DAG set up under the EU-UK TCA featured the participation of the UK DAG Chair, Mr. Sean McGuire, to discuss the recent Windsor Framework on Northern Ireland, the situation of both DAGs and future joint steps. A DG TRADE representative presented and discussed with members the technical aspects of Level Playing Field provisions.

  • -
    In the context of the reinforced follow-up of EESC Information Report

    Following the adoption of the EESC Information Report on the Implementation of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, the Committee is now promoting and giving it a reinforced follow-up using various communication channels, considering the relevance and the perfect timing of the subjects covered in the report.

     

  • The 5th meeting of the EU DAG set up under the EU-UK TCA was dedicated to the assessment of the first year of DAG work -including the recent EU-UK Civil Society Forum, to an update on the Trade Specialised Committees and to a structured discussion of selected issues and recommendations with a DG TRADE representative.