European Union Office in Kosovo 
European Union Special Representative in Kosovo

EU Statements at Regular Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) meeting, 29 November 2021

Geneva, 29/11/2021 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 211129_14
Local Statements

Statements delivered by Ioannis Zervas, Counsellor

AGENDA POINT 1: SURVEILLANCE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED BY THE DSB

 

C.     EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES – MEASURES AFFECTING THE APPROVAL AND MARKETING OF BIOTECH PRODUCTS: STATUS REPORT BY THE EUROPEAN UNION (WT/DS291/37/ADD.155)

  • The United States frequently refers to products that have successfully passed EFSA’s risk assessment, but not yet received final approval through comitology. The EU would like to point out that there are administrative procedures between the publication of EFSA’s favourable opinion and the comitology vote that have to be respected. These include, among others, procedures related to transparency, such as a one-month public consultation. The EU fails to see how these procedures can be characterised as ‘undue delay’.
  • The European Union acts in line with its WTO obligations. We recall that the EU approval system is not covered by the DSB’s recommendations and rulings.
  • To update the WTO Membership concerning the progress of the applications throughout the authorisation process, we note that: (1) the Standing Committee meeting was held on-line on 22 November 2021; (2) the Commission presented a draft decision renewing the authorisation of GM cotton GHB614; and (3) the vote on that draft decision is ongoing by written procedure.

 

AGENDA POINT 2: UNITED STATES – CONTINUED DUMPING AND SUBSIDY OFFSET ACT OF 2000: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED BY THE DSB

  1. STATEMENT BY THE EUROPEAN UNION
  • We refer to our previous statements under this agenda item.

 

AGENDA POINT 3:  EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES AND CERTAIN MEMBER STATES – MEASURES AFFECTING TRADE IN LARGE CIVIL AIRCRAFT: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED BY THE DSB

  1. STATEMENT BY THE UNITED STATES
  • We refer to our previous statements under this agenda item.

 

AGENDA POINT 4:             RUSSIAN FEDERATION – CERTAIN MEASURES CONCERNING DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN PRODUCTS AND SERVICES   

  1. Request for the establishment of a Panel by the European Union (WT/DS604/2)
  • In the framework of the WTO, the Russian Federation has taken certain commitments as regards procurements of State-related entities for commercial purposes, including not to discriminate between domestic and imported products and between services from Russian and foreign entities.
  • However, for several years, the Russian Federation has developed several measures seriously disadvantaging EU companies when selling goods and services to Russian State-related enterprises and other entities through procurement for commercial purposes.
  • The EU has raised this issue a number of times bilaterally and in WTO fora. Unfortunately without solving the problem. In 2019, the value of published tenders by State-owned enterprises amounted to 23.5 trillion roubles (approximately EUR 290 billion) the equivalent of around 20% of Russia’s GDP).
  • The EU requested consultations with the Russian Federation on this matter on 22 July 2021. A consultations meeting took place on 13 September 2021. The meeting was useful in clarifying certain points, but did not resolve the dispute.
  • The EU urges the Russian Federation to withdraw the measures in question or to make them compliant with its WTO obligations. To this end, the EU requests the establishment of a panel to fully assess the measures.

 

AGENDA POINT 7: APPELLATE BODY APPOINTMENTS

  • The European Union refers to its previous statements on this issue.
  • Since 11 December 2019, the WTO no longer guarantees access to a binding, two-tier, independent and impartial resolution of trade disputes.
  • A fully functioning WTO dispute settlement system is critical for a rules-based multilateral trading system.
  • This is why the most urgent area of WTO reform involves finding an agreed basis to restore such a system and proceeding to the appointment of the members of the Appellate Body. This task should be addressed as a priority.
  • As we have consistently noted, WTO Members have a shared responsibility to resolve this issue as soon as possible, and to fill the outstanding vacancies as required by Article 17.2 of the DSU.
  • The EU agrees that a meaningful reform is needed in order to achieve this objective.
  • The EU therefore renews its call on all WTO Members to engage in a constructive discussion as soon as possible in order to restore a fully functioning WTO dispute settlement system.
  • We thank all Members that have co-sponsored the proposal to launch the appointment processes.
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