EU Trading with Japan

EU Trading with Japan

With the Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns suggesting new global markets, including in Japan, will be available to sheep meat producers in Wales after Brexit we have taken a fresh look at the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement to help farmers and the public better understand the debate. The agreement between the EU trading block and Japan has provided all EU member states, including the UK, the opportunity to expand their trade with Japan.

Here’s what we wrote about the agreement back in February:

On the 1 February 2019 the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement entered into force. 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. It will 1280px-Flag_of_Japan_svgremove 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, for example on car exports. It will also open up the Japanese market of 127 million consumers to key EU agricultural products and increase EU export opportunities in many other sectors. In addition, the agreement will 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.

A video about the agreement is available Here.

EU-U.S. trade talks – one year on, Commission presents progress report

EU-U.S. trade talks – one year on, Commission presents progress report

Today marks the first anniversary of the Joint Statement by President Juncker and President Trump, which launched the new phase in the relationship between the United States and the European Union.

Some bullet points:

  • Since July 2018, the EU has significantly increased its imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
  • EU imports of U.S. soya beans increased by almost 100% from July 2018 to June 2019.
  • The Council gave the Commission the authorisation to open talks with the U.S. on eliminating tariffs on industrial goods.
  • The EU and U.S. have engaged to identify and address distortions caused by unfair market-distorting trade practices.
  • On pharmaceuticals, the EU and U.S. reached a milestone on 11 July 2019, as all EU Member State authorities were recognised under the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA).

There are continuing negotiations in a number of important areas of trade and you can read more about this by following the link below than includes links to factsheets:

European Union and United States flags on the grunge metal backg




The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has launched its Civil Society Prize for 2019.

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has launched its Civil Society Prize for 2019.

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has launched its Civil Society Prize for 2019. This year’s theme is More women in Europe’s society and economy, and the prize will honour innovative initiatives and projects which aim to fight for equal opportunities for women and men and their equal treatment in all spheres of economic and social life.

The EESC Civil Society Prize is open to all civil society organisations officially registered within the European Union and acting at local, regional, national or European level. Individuals can also apply. To be eligible, initiatives or projects must have already been implemented or be still ongoing.

A total of EUR 50 000 will be awarded to a maximum of five winners. The deadline for entries is 10 a.m. on 6 September 2019, while the award ceremony will take place on 12 December 2019 in Brussels.

Find out more by following the link below.


#EUinMYRegions Quiz

#EUinMYRegions Quiz

The European Commission invites you to participate in the #EUinMyRegion quiz.

The quiz is accessible online from 1 April to 31 August 2019.

The quiz comprises multiple-choice questions on European Regions.

The participants must be 18 or over.

Participants shall enter the competition with a valid e-mail address that is regularly consulted. The participants who have given inaccurate personal and contact details will be disqualified.

The winners are the participants who have correctly answered all the questions in the shortest time.

A basket full of regional delicacies from all over Europe will be awarded every month throughout the duration of the campaign.

The announcement of the five winners will occur on the following dates:

  1. 30 April – Diana Zsoldos, Budapest, Hungary
  2. 31 May – Anne-Claire Veyrat, Reims, France
  3. 30 June – Katerina Karagiozopoulou, Marousi, Greece
  4. 31 July
  5. 31 August

Winners will be contacted by e-mail to obtain their postal address where the prize will be delivered.

Winners will have a month to accept their prize. If the winner does not reply within a month, he/she is disqualified.

The prize – the basket with regional specialties – cannot be exchanged for another prize or for its monetary value.


EU Settlement Scheme – Latest Statistics

EU Settlement Scheme – Latest Statistics

The Home Office have reported on take up of the EU Settlement Scheme for EU citizens living in the UK.
* The EU Settlement Scheme official statistics show that over 900,000 people have already applied to the Scheme. 

Two thirds have been granted settled status

Two-thirds of EU citizens who applied received settled status, generally as they had been resident in the UK for five years or more, with a third being granted pre-settled status.

Those with pre-settled status can stay for as long as they need to build up five years of continuous residence. Then they can apply for settled status.

Get your status today

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your non-EU family members can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme free of charge today.

You will need to complete three key steps – prove your identity, show that you live in the UK, and declare any criminal convictions.

You can find full guidance and start your application at:

Additional support

If you need any additional help to complete the online application, Assisted Digital support is available at over 300 locations, supplemented by a network of over 60 tutors who provide in-home support.

The Home Office has also funded 57 voluntary and community sector organisations across the UK to help us reach an estimated 200,000 vulnerable or at-risk EU citizens and their family members. You can find a full list of these organisations here.

Don’t forget that you are able to receive face to face support from Europe Direct East Midlands (North) at our Walk-in Centre based in Beeston Nottingham. Details of how to access this support are provided below.

east midlands north less distorted* Information taken from Home Office email updates.

European Commission Political Guidelines 2019 – 2024

European Commission Political Guidelines 2019 – 2024

President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has presented the Political Guidelines for the Next European Commission 2019-2024. This is an important document that sets the headline ambitions for the next five years. They include:

  •  A European Green Deal
  • An economy that works for people
  • A Europe fit for the digital age
  • Protecting our European way of life
  • A stronger Europe in the world
  • A new push for European democracy

You can read and download a copy of the guidelines by following the link below. It’s an interesting read that gives insight into the motivations of President- elect Ursula von der Leye as well as providing some detail on what is behind the headline ambitions.



Beeston Carnival

Beeston Carnival

IMG-20190713-WA0004On Saturday 13th July we attended the Beeston Carnival for the second year running. Once again there was a high attendance, estimated at 5,000 people. Topics discussed during the day long event were citizens rights after Brexit. We were able to provide information about the EU Settlement Scheme being run by the Home Office and direct people to the EDIC Walk-in Centre if they needed help with their applications.

Hot topics were also travel in the EU, some general discussions on trade and the single market and there was much debate surrounding Brexit. We of course remain neutral but were able to help with general information on the Article 50 process.

With many young families present we made people aware of the vast resources provided by EU Publications.

Once again a very productive day at the carnival.