Tag Archives: EU

Joint statement by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Foreign Office of Germany on new crossing points on lines of contact in eastern Ukraine (13 November 20) | Instant News

France and Germany have welcomed the creation of two new crossing points on the line of contact. This increases the number of intersection points along approx. 450km length of the seventh contact line. As such, Ukraine complies with the obligations agreed upon by Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany in the conclusion of the Normandy-format summit held in Paris on 9 December 2019. Therefore, Ukraine has taken steps to improve remote conditions at the crossing points before winter arrives. in and to alleviate the suffering of the people in eastern Ukraine. We welcome the support of the European Union in providing infrastructure at the new crossing points at Zolote and Shchastya.

We pay tribute to the involvement of Ambassador Heidi Grau, Special Representative of the Chair of the OSCE in the Trilateral Contact Group, and Ambassador Toni Frisch, Coordinator of the Humanitarian Working Group, in pushing for this Opening.

We call on Russia and the separatists to reopen all existing crossing points on the line of contact in the Donetsk region without delay. Thousands of people seeking to see doctors, withdraw pensions or visit relatives are currently barred from crossing the line of contact. Conflict must not be allowed to continue at the expense of the population, and divisions must not be allowed to widen.

Despite an agreement in the Trilateral Contact Group, the separatists have not fulfilled their obligation to allow the opening of the crossing points at Zolote and Shchastya on November 10 as agreed. We call on Russia to use its influence to ensure that this agreement is implemented. As a member of the Trilateral Contact Group, Russia is also in direct negotiations with Ukraine and bears responsibility for the successful implementation of the conclusions of the Paris Summit.

France and Germany remain committed to fully implementing the agreement reached at the 9 December 2019 Summit.


image source

Lancaster House Agreement: 10 year Franco-British defense partnership | Instant News

The Lancaster House Treaties, signed on November 2, 2010, is the cornerstone of a solid defense and security partnership between our two countries. This defense cooperation is based on shared interests and a common determination to defend the international order and multilateralism based on democratic and universal values. It rests on a shared vision and longstanding strategic closeness.

As we mark the 10th anniversary of the Agreement, France fully intends to pursue structuring bilateral defense cooperation in all areas over the coming years: operational, capability, industrial and nuclear. This cooperation will continue on the basis of close dialogue on all issues related to international defense and security, to consolidate the privileged defense relationship it has developed with Great Britain, and to maintain a high level of ambition in the years to come.

The domain of French-English cooperation

Over the past 10 years, thanks to the Lancaster House Agreement, Franco-British cooperation has been strengthened especially in the operational and nuclear fields as well as in terms of military capabilities.

  • Regarding its operations, the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) is declared fully operational this year. The CJEF is a binational force that counts up to 10,000 troops, can be deployed in a short time and is capable of conducting high-intensity operations. France and England are also working together on the field. Our two countries are working together on the battlefield, in the Sahel on Operation Barkhane and in the Levant. They also participate in NATO operations on the continent of Europe (Advanced Presence in the Baltic countries, Baltic Air Policing missions).
  • In terms of military capability, the Franco-British arms cooperation has been structured in the missile field around the sharing of information relating to research and needs, to identify the axes of our future cooperation and to streamline costs. The joint Future Cruise and Anti-Ship Weapon (FC / ASW) project is at the heart of our shared priority and could enter the assessment phase as early as 2021. The joint Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) project has also made significant progress since 2015.
  • The Franco-British nuclear cooperation as outlined in the Lancaster House Treaties was drawn up primarily by the Teutates Treaty, which aims to share radiographic facilities related to the prevention programs of the two countries and which will continue in the coming years.
Read the joint interview by French Ambassador to London Catherine Colonna and British Ambassador to Paris Ed Llewellyn, first published in la Revue de la Défense nationale on November 2, 2020.


image source

The US is investigating Britain, India, Brazil, the EU and others for digital tax plans | Instant News

The United States is increasing pressure on other countries for negotiations on digital service taxes, opening new investigations to countries planning higher tasks at the technology giant.

That U.S. trade representative Tuesday announced it was investigating Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Britain for implementation or planning to file new taxes on the digital giant. The subject had triggered a split between the US and France before and that could ultimately mean higher trade tariffs for these countries.

“A warning shot from USTR to signal the seriousness and urgency, and to put more pressure on the OECD process to move quickly and towards the US,” David Livingston, a senior analyst at the US-based Eurasia Group, told CNBC Tuesday.

France was the first major economy to enact digital service tax laws, but after threats from the United States that it would charge more than French exporters, Paris decided to postpone the collection of the first payment until 2021.

Meanwhile, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has worked on a plan that will bring the US, France and other countries together on how to tax digital companies.

The OECD will present plans at the end of 2020. France says that if international talks fail, technology companies will still have to pay taxes.

OECD agreement opportunities

“If the US continues with the aim of making voluntary taxes, an agreement is very unlikely, so this step puts pressure on these markets, whether they want to stick to (tax) if rates are introduced,” Dexter Thillien, a senior industry analyst at Fitch Solutions, told CNBC Wednesday.

US. signaled at the beginning of the year that it would support some aspects of digital taxation if the scheme was voluntary and not mandatory for American companies. This idea sparked criticism from French officials because American companies represent the largest technology companies in the world.

“This is an interesting time,” Jeremy Ghez, an affiliate professor at H.E.C. Business School in Paris, told CNBC Tuesday.

“You have to realize that a fairer part of the tax burden can help various economies better adapt to the coming wave of transformation,” he said, referring to the growing change to the digital economy.

At the same time, many countries are in dire need of new cash because the coronavirus crisis has brought new challenges. In this context, European Commission, the European Union’s executive body, said last week the bloc had to apply new tasks to the technology giant as a way to increase revenue in times of severe economic hardship.

The Brussels-based agency said earlier that digital companies paid an average effective tax rate of 9.5% in the EU – compared with 23.2% for traditional businesses. The tech giants argue that they pay as much tax as is legally required.


image source

Compromising on fisheries with EU is likely, said the head of the British industry | Instant News

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain and the European Union may be able to reach a compromise on fisheries by setting blocks that are given access to British waters in return for higher quotas for Britain, the industry chief said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTOS: Fishing vessels take part in the Brexit fleet, organized by Fishing For Leave, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England 15 March 2019. REUTERS / Scott Heppell / File Photo

When the two sides launch a fourth round of virtual negotiations to try to secure a free trade agreement and their future relations, fisheries will likely dominate negotiations that last until Friday.

The talks, which aim to establish a new future with Britain for the first time in more than 40 years outside the European Union, have stalled, with both sides accusing each other of not having the political will to spur them before the December deadline.

But Barrie Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fisheries Organizations, said that although an agreement on fisheries might not be reached by the end of this month, it is likely for later this year.

“I think an agreement will be made. “I think there are several ways to go, that the two sides are very far apart but that is their nature … My feeling is that an agreement might come up in September or October,” he told reporters.

“For me, the compromise lies in access in return for a new sharing arrangement.”

Last month, EU sources said the bloc was willing to change its stance on fisheries that had so far tried to maintain the status quo – something the British government said could not happen because it had now left the bloc.

With the two sides far apart not only on fisheries, but on EU demands for guarantees of a “fair playground” of fair cooperation and security cooperation, this week’s talks are unlikely to open a new path to compromise.

On Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said the government hoped the discussions would “keep the process on track ahead of the high-level meeting later this month”.

The two sides will assess the slight progress at the end of this month, with talks about possible contact between Johnson and EU leaders, including the Commission’s chairman, Ursula von der Leyen.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Alexandra Hudson


image source