During the annual State of the Union, held on Wednesday, the President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker addressed a range of shipping issues and outlined his top priorities towards 2019, emphasizing on trade agreements.
Many of the maritime priorities revealed 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.
Mr Juncker highlighted that the international interest of making trade agreements with the EU has been overwhelming, so the Commission has to take advantage of this opportunity and reinforce and strengthening the European trade programs.
In addition, he 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 also hopes to have trade agreements in place with Mexico and the South American countries (Mercosur) in the same period. Moreover, it is proposing to begin trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, Mr Juncker revealed.
“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.