The trade agreement negotiated by the Commission is the first ever to include an explicit reference to the Paris climate agreement. It will create an open trading zone covering 635 million people and almost one third of the world's total GDP. The Strategic Partnership Agreement is the first ever bilateral framework agreement between the EU and Japan.
Yesterday's vote follows a similar decision taken by Japan's National Diet, thus concluding the parliamentary ratification of the agreement by both partners. It paves the way for the agreement to enter into force on 1 February 2019. From that moment, EU companies, farmers, workers and consumers will start reaping the benefits of simpler and faster trade between the EU and Japan.
The agreement will, in particular, allow the EU to substantially increase its beef exports, and open additional opportunities for export of pork products and ensure the protection in Japan of more than 200 Geographical Indications (GIs), high-quality European traditional food specialities, and the protection of a selection of Japanese GIs in the EU.
Timeline of the agreements and next steps
Negotiations for the Strategic Partnership Agreement and the Economic Partnership Agreement started in 2013, and both agreements were signed at the EU-Japan Summit on 17 July 2018.
On 29 November and on 8 December the two houses of Japan's National Diet ratified the Economic Partnership Agreement. The European Parliament's consent expressed today clears the way for the trade agreement's conclusion and entry into force. The remaining formalities are expected to be done in time for the agreement to become effective as soon as 1 February 2019.
The entry into force of the Strategic Partnership Agreement requires also the ratification by EU Member States, but a large part of the Agreement can be applied on a provisional basis already in early 2019.
Wednesday December 12, 2018/ EC/ European Union.