As part of the agreement, Singapore will also remove non-tariff barriers in key sectors, for example by recognising EU safety tests for cars and many electronic devices or by accepting labels used by EU textile companies. In the meantime, it will open the European market to Singapore companies that already represent the EU`s largest Asian and Asian investors, with the number of Singapore`s direct investments in the bloc more than quintupled over the past decade. The EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (an acronym for EUSFTA) is a free trade agreement signed and ratified between the European Union and Singapore.   Bilateral free trade and investment agreements between the European Union and Singapore. The EEA has been under negotiation since March 2010 and its text has been available to the public since June 2015.  Negotiations on goods and services were concluded in 2012 and on investment protection on 17 October 2014.  The EU and Singapore have also concluded an investment protection agreement that can enter into force after being ratified by all EU member states according to their own national procedures. However, the Court`s final ruling concludes that global trade agreements, which cover key areas such as transport services, intellectual property rights and labour and environmental standards, fall exclusively within the EU`s jurisdiction and are therefore not subject to the veto of national parliaments. It is only in the areas of portfolio investment and investor-state dispute settlement that they cannot be implemented without the agreement of the Member States. On 16 May 2017, the Court of Justice, the highest court in the European Union, ruled that the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (ECIA) was a joint agreement and therefore needed to be ratified not only by EU institutions, but also by the national and regional parliaments of EU member states. This final decision is not a surprise in itself, as a non-binding opinion by General Counsel Eleanor Sharpston last December indicated that the EUS could only be concluded by the EU and the Member States acting in concert.
What is perhaps surprising is that the Court`s final ruling, contrary to what is thought, puts forward only two investment issues on which the EU and its Member States would be divided and would therefore require the agreement of the parliaments of the Member States. On 19 October 2018, three agreements were signed between the parties, the EU-Singapore trade agreement, the EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement and the Framework Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.   The agreement was approved by the European Parliament on 13 February 2019.  On November 8, 2019, it was announced that the agreement will enter into force on November 21, 2019. This comes after the Council of the European Union approved the agreement. “This is the first bilateral trade agreement between the European Union and a South-East Asian country, which is part of a closer relationship between Europe and one of the most dynamic regions in the world,” said Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission. It crowns the Commission`s efforts to create a network of partners working for open, fair and rules-based trade. It was not an easy task to do the trick. Originally signed in 2013, it found a major stumbling block in 2017, when the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in a pioneering ruling that the pact could not be ratified at EU level, but that some Member States needed the agreement.
Two years later, and this was finally done, the EU took another step towards its final goal: a future agreement between the regions. Then there is the agreement signed between the EU and Vietnam earlier this year. It also faced opposition: last September, a group of European lawmakers published an open letter calling on the Asian country to improve its human rights record before every vote on the agreement.