China was the first hybrid economy with features of a non-market economy (NME) to accede to the WTO. A statement in its Accession Protocol says that the provision alluding to NME status will “in any event” expire fifteen year after its accession, on 11 December 2016. China therefore considers receiving market economy status (MES) as a formality. The EU, however, disputes this interpretation and argues that a country must actually be a market economy before this status can be awarded. This argument is unsurprising considering that the absence of MES is a necessary prerequisite for the continued legitimacy of the analogue country method. Maintaining control over the ability to grant the MES has therefore been a matter of supreme importance to the EU.
A lot of attention currently goes out to the provisions of China’s WTO Accession Protocol dealing with, as it seems, an automatic expiry of its non-market economy status in December 2016. China claims that the provision which allows for an alternative method for calculating dumping margins will no longer apply fifteen year after its date of accession. But the European Union challenges this perception. This comes as no surprise. The Union would lose an important tool – the analogue market method – for raising the barrier of entry to the European market.
Richard Sulik is a leader of Slovakia’s liberal party SaS (strana Sloboda a Solidarita). He is a former President of the country’s Parliament and since 2014 he has been elected a Member of the European Parliament. He is affiliated with and sits within the European Conservatives and Reformists faction. As leader of Slovakia’s opposition he is both active at the national and EU level. Before he became a politician himself, Richard Sulik was an entrepreneur who, among other things, helped Slovakia’s Ministry of Finance introduce the necessary and successful tax reforms in the early 2000s. He is known for his honesty and firm positions on topics such as the EU, Eurozone, Islam and migrant crisis. We sat down with him in his Brussels office to discuss some of these pertinent issues.
After the latest Syrian ceasefire deal had been violated through a reckless airstrike on a UN-convoy which headed into the encircled Aleppo, more than 560 people were killed (according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights). London and Washington called for Russia and its Syrian ally Assad to face war crime investigations, accusing them of deliberate bombing of civilian targets. Starting from Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine, new sanctions might now be on the table due to Moscow’s actions in Syria, possibly deepening Vladimir Putin’s international isolation even further. Continue reading
Only five years ago, barely anyone in Europe (outside the EU bubble) had ever heard of Frontex. Today, this young agency has captured media and civil society attention as it has become a relevant actor in the worst migration crisis the continent faces since World War II. With a recently approved new mandate and additional resources, the EU expects that this agency, currently in the spotlight, will rise to the occasion. Yet this response to the refugee crisis has both critics that deem it insufficient to strengthen external borders control and detractors who believe the EU is just blocking the route to refugees that seek shelter. Continue reading