The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker held his annual State of the Union Wednesday. Using clear maritime references, Juncker addressed a range of issues with interest to the shipping world. Notably increased importance of trade agreements.
Jean-Claude Juncker outlined his top priorities for the Commission in the rest of its period towards 2019. Many of them with particular interest to the shipping industry and include strengthening European trade programs, strengthening of the industry sectors, a clearer European leadership in the fight against climate change, enhanced cybersecurity and the future handling of migration.
Juncker highlighted that the international interest of making trade agreements with the EU has been overwhelming. Therefore, the Commission wish to take advantage of this opportunity and reinforce and strengthening the European trade programs.
“Juncker unmistakably underlined the opportunities and in fact duty for the EU to advance the free trade globally. We perfectly support this line because we need the EU to take more assertive role in international trade by setting the standards,” says Casper Andersen, head of EU-Affairs of Danish Shipping.
Juncker underlined that EU has just successfully secured the trade agreement with Canada (CETA) and furthermore recently made an agreement on the principles of the political agreement with Japan on a new economic partnership which is intended sign the final agreement in the end of 2017. The Commission hopes to have trade agreements in place with Mexico and the South American countries (Mercosur) in the same period. Moreover, Juncker announced that the Commission today is proposing to begin trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand.
“10 pct. of Danish shipping companies’ export is to markets in South America. We look forward to the agreements and welcome further trade negotiations with other regions,” says Casper Andersen.
Source: Danish Shipping