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Main results of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council

TTIP negotiations with the United States

The Council discussed progress in negotiations on TTIP, the transatlantic trade and investment partnership with the United States, with a focus on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).

It encouraged the Commission to maintain its efforts towards achieving meaningful progress across all three components of the agreement by the summer of 2015. This will enable the negotiators to prepare the ground for tackling more delicate political issues after the summer.

The Council discussed ideas for ISDS provisions in the light of a paper presented by Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. It broadly welcomed the Commission’s paper and its suggestions.

“Defining a common position on ISDS will allow us to inject new momentum into TTIP and to engage fully with the US in all areas of negotiation”, said Edgars Rinkēvičs, minister for foreign affairs of Latvia and President of the Council. “It will enable us to make every effort to conclude negotiations on an ambitious, comprehensive and mutually beneficial agreement.”

WTO ministerial conference

The Council also discussed preparations for the next WTO ministerial conference, to be held in Nairobi in December 2015.

To define the structure of a deal in Nairobi on the WTO’s Doha Development Agenda (DDA), it reiterated the need for a comprehensive, realistic, feasible and balanced work programme.

The Council welcomed trade liberalisation efforts being pursued in parallel to the DDA talks, in particular negotiations on an environmental goods agreement.

Eastern Partnership meeting on trade

EU trade ministers met their counterparts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine for the first Eastern Partnership ministerial meeting on trade.

“Trade is an essential dimension of our partnership with our eastern neighbours”, said Mr Rinkēvičs. “Today’s meeting was a first step in a process that will contribute to strengthened cooperation, taking account of the diverse interests of our partners with regard to their trade relations with the EU”.

The ministers assessed achievements to date, as well as the opportunities and challenges for developing a successful trade dimension to the partnership. They discussed preparations for an Eastern Partnership summit in Riga on 21-22 May 2015 and an ongoing review of the EU’s European neighbourhood policy.

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