La presente informativa è resa, anche ai sensi dell’art. 13 del D. Lgs. 196/2003 “Codice in materia di protezione dei dati personali” (“Codice Privacy”) 
e degli artt. 13 e 14 del Regolamento (UE) 2016/679 (“GDPR”), a coloro che si collegano alla presente edizione online del giornale Tribuna Economica di proprietà di AFC Editore Soc. Coop. 

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Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono announced the successful conclusion of the final discussions on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Building on the political agreement in principle reached during the EU-Japan Summit on 6 July 2017, negotiators from both sides have been tying up the last details in order to finish the legal text. This process is now finalised.

The way to outcome was paved by the strong personal engagement of the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe throughout the process and notably in 2017 at the occasion of their meetings held in Brussels, in March and in the margins of the G7 Summit in Taormina, in May.

The conclusion of these negotiations is an important milestone to put in place the biggest bilateral trade agreement ever negotiated by the European Union. The Economic Partnership Agreement will open huge market opportunities for both sides, strengthen cooperation between Europe and Japan in a range of areas, reaffirm their shared commitment to sustainable development, and include for the first time a specific commitment to the Paris climate agreement.

The outstanding technical discussions that have taken place since July have included: stabilising the commitments of the EU and Japan on tariffs and services; settling on the final provisions for protection of EU and Japanese Geographical Indications; concluding the chapters on good regulatory practices and regulatory cooperation, and transparency; strengthening the commitment to the Paris agreement in the trade and sustainable development chapter; as well as clearing up a number of minor remaining issues in several parts of the agreement.

The main elements of the agreement The Economic Partnership Agreement will remove the vast majority of the €1 billion of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan, as well as a number of long-standing regulatory barriers. It will also open up the Japanese market of 127 million consumers to key EU agricultural exports and will increase EU export opportunities in a range of other sectors. With regards to agricultural exports from the EU, the agreement will, in particular: scrap duties on many cheeses such as Gouda and Cheddar (which currently are at 29.8%) as well as on wine exports (currently at 15% on average); allow the EU to increase its beef exports to Japan substantially, while on pork there will be duty-free trade in processed meat and almost duty-free trade for fresh meat;

ensure the protection in Japan of more than 200 high-quality European agricultural products, so called Geographical Indications (GIs),and will also ensure the protection of a selection of Japanese GIs in the EU.

The agreement also opens up services markets, in particular financial services, e-commerce, telecommunications and transport. It also… guarantees EU companies access to the large procurement markets of Japan in 48 large cities, and removes obstacles to procurement in the economically important railway sector at national level; addresses specific sensitivities in the EU, for instance in the automotive sector, with transition periods before markets are opened.

The deal also includes a comprehensive chapter on trade and sustainable development; sets the highest standards of labour, safety, environmental and consumer protection; strengthens EU and Japan's actions on sustainable development and climate change and fully safeguards public services.

Concerning data protection, which is being dealt with separately from the Economic Partnership Agreement, a Joint Statement was issued during the July Summit, in which the EU and Japan stress the importance of ensuring a high level of privacy and security of personal data as a fundamental right and as a central factor of consumer trust in the digital economy, which also further facilitate mutual data flows, leading to the development of digital economy. With the recent reforms of their respective privacy legislation, the two sides have further increased the convergence between their systems, which rest notably on an overarching privacy law, a core set of individual rights and enforcement by independent supervisory authorities. This offers new opportunities to facilitate data exchanges, including through a simultaneous finding of an adequate level of protection by both sides. The EU and Japan continue working towards adopting adequacy decisions under the respective data protection rules as soon as possible in 2018.