European Union: EU Impact - Issue 6

Last Updated: 6 August 2019
Article by Valerijus Ostrovskis and Laura Semmler

Dear Reader,

While you are looking forward to departing on your well-deserved summer holidays (or are reading our newsletter while at your holiday destination already), the EU institutions have likewise reduced their activities to a minimum as from last week until the end of August.

The month of July, however, has been particularly eventful for the EU Institutions. The major re-shuffle of EU top jobs (i.e. the infamous 'package deal') was settled after intense negotiations amongst EU Member States and between the Member States and the European Parliament, this month. European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen is now engaged in dialogue with the Member States to assemble her College of Commissioners, which Parliament is scheduled to approve in October.

The new Commission is expected to assume office on 1 November, and its re-calibration of the EU's policy and legislative priorities (in coordination with the Member States) will have significant implications for all businesses operating across the EU.

Although the next Commission Work Programme is only expected to be published in November 2019, the 'Political Guidelines' of future Commission President von der Leyen may already provide an indication of the EU's priorities for the coming term. According to these Guidelines, the next Commission's (and hence the EU's) policy priorities for 2019-2014 will focus on the fields of climate/sustainability, economy, the digital agenda, security, a strong EU globally, and European democracy/the rule of law.

In the meantime, while continuing to monitor the above developments of medium- and long term importance to companies from different sectors, we are pleased to provide you with the below updates on specific EU policy and legislation of relevance to businesses:

  • EU-Vietnam Trade and Investment Agreements signed
  • Political agreement reached for a comprehensive EU-Mercosur trade agreement
  • Sustainable Finance: Commission hosted stakeholder dialogue to discuss latest expert reports
  • Commission calls for better implementation of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules
  • EU Cybersecurity Act introduces EU-wide cybersecurity certification rules

Enjoy the read, and happy summer holidays!

Your EU Regulatory, Trade and Government Affairs team in Brussels


EU-Vietnam Trade and Investment Agreements signed

Following the adoption of the decision by the EU Member States in the Council to sign an EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (FTA) and an investment protection agreement (IPA), both agreements were signed in Hanoi on 30 June 2019. The agreements are expected to increase trade flows and create jobs and growth on both sides by:

  • eliminating 99 percent of customs duties and partly alleviating the remaining ones through limited zero-duty quotas;
  • reducing regulatory barriers;
  • introducing protection of geographical indications (GIs);
  • facilitating access for EU companies to Vietnamese services and public procurement markets;
  • facilitating investments by EU companies in Vietnam's key manufacturing sectors; and
  • ensuring enforcement of the agreed rules.

The deal also contains provisions relating to the respect for human rights, environmental protection and workers' rights.

For European exporters and investors, the agreements are expected to facilitate access to Vietnam's substantial agricultural, industrial and services market. The agreements should also result in lower prices for consumers.

The texts will enter into force after completion of the ratification process by each Party, in line with their respective legal procedures. The agreements require the signature of the Vietnamese National Assembly for ratification and the European Parliament's consent, as well as - in the case of the Investment Protection Agreement - ratification by the national parliaments of the EU Member States.

Political agreement reached for comprehensive EU-Mercosur trade agreement

On 28 June 2019, the EU and the Mercosur countries Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay have reached political agreement on a comprehensive trade deal. The EU is Mercosur's most important partner in trade and investment, with EU exports in goods having reached EUR 45 bn in 2018. The agreement aims to further expand mutual trade and investment, including by reducing barriers for EU exporters and investors in Mercosur markets.

The EU-Mercosur trade agreement (as agreed in principle) represents the trade pillar of a comprehensive new Association Agreement (AA) between the two regions. General agreement on the political and cooperation (e.g. on digital economy, research, corporate responsibility) pillars has already been reached earlier in June 2018.

The EU-Mercosur trade agreement, in particular, aims to:

  • eliminate tariffs for key EU export products such as cars, machinery and pharmaceuticals;
  • simplify customs and compliance procedures;
  • facilitate the selling of services and establishing a business presence;
  • enable EU firms to access public contracts;
  • protect from imitation traditional products recognised as Geographical Indications (GIs); and
  • provide SMEs with an online platform to facilitate access to information.

The agreement also stipulates EU standards for food safety and consumer protection, and principles relating to sustainable development, labour rights and environmental protection.

The agreed text will now be legally revised by both parties, with the aim of compiling the final version of the Association Agreement, including its trade elements. This final version of the AA will require the approval of the EU Member States and the European Parliament.

Financial services

Sustainable Finance: Commission hosted stakeholder dialogue to discuss latest expert reports

On 24 June 2019, the European Commission organised a discussion on the latest reports of its Technical expert group on sustainable finance (TEG) and presented the new guidelines on corporate climate-related information reporting. The Commission established the TEG in June 2018 to take forward the EU's efforts on sustainable finance, which are expected to increasingly impact EU companies operating in all sectors.

The following three reports were issued:

The non-binding guidelines on corporate climate-related information reporting aim to help companies to disclose non-financial information under the Non-Financial Reporting Directive to share climate-related information in a consistent manner.

Once the Taxonomy Regulation has been agreed, the Commission is expected to draft delegated acts, likely to be adopted by early 2020. It will be up to the next Commission to take forward the TEG's proposals on the EU-GBS and climate benchmarks.

Commission calls for better implementation of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules

On 24 July 2019, with the aim of helping EU and Member States' authorities better address the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing, the European Commission adopted a Communication accompanied by four reports.

In view of the Commission's objective to strengthen the EU's anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terrorist financing rules, this latest effort follows the introduction of the fourth and fifth AML Directives and expansion of the European Banking Authority's supervisory function.

The reports reiterate the need for implementation of existing rules, calling for structural deficits to be addressed:

  • Supranational risk assessment - Report assessing the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing affecting key EU sectors, with the newly assessed sectors including ATMs, professional football, free ports, and investor citizenship and residence schemes ('golden passports').
  • Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) - Report assessing the rules for FIUs' cooperation with third countries and obstacles and opportunities to enhance EU-wide inter-FIU cooperation.
  • Interconnection of central bank account registries - Report assessing the conditions for secure and efficient interconnection of central bank account registers.
  • Assessment of recent alleged money laundering cases involving EU credit institutions - Report.

The Commission has indicated that next steps could include further harmonisation of the EU's AML and counter terrorism financing legislation regarding the duties of credit institutions and supervision. This might include transposing the AML Directive into a Regulation, making it directly applicable in the Member States. It will be up to the incoming Commission, scheduled to take office on 1 November 2019, to take any such future decisions.


EU Cybersecurity Act introduces EU-wide cybersecurity certification rules

On 27 June 2019, the European Cybersecurity Act entered into force, introducing the first-ever EU-wide rules on the cybersecurity certification of products, processes and services, and strengthening the role of the EU Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA).

The European cybersecurity certification framework establishes tailored and risk-based EU certification schemes, aiming to increase the cybersecurity of online services and consumer devices. Such European cybersecurity certification scheme comprises a comprehensive set of EU-wide rules, technical requirements, standards and procedures serving to evaluate a specific product, service or process on the basis of its cybersecurity properties. Each certificate will carry one of three assurance levels, and will be recognised EU-wide.

The harmonised rules are expected to facilitate cross-border trade of relevant products and services, reduce market-entry barriers, and simplify the process of cybersecurity certification.

ENISA has received a permanent mandate with additional responsibilities and resources to better help Member States in addressing cybersecurity threats and incidents. This includes support to policy implementation, standardisation, certification, crisis management and coordinated vulnerability disclosure. ENISA's mandate has been applicable since 27 June 2019. The Commission is currently preparing the requests for ENISA to design certification schemes and to establish two expert groups:

  • the European Cybersecurity Certification Group, consisting of Member States representatives; and
  • the Stakeholder Cybersecurity Certification Group, mandated to advise ENISA and the Commission.

I.a. on the basis of a public consultation, the Commission will identify strategic priorities for certification and a list of ICT products, services and processes to be included in the scheme.

EU Regulatory, Trade and Government Affairs

DLA Piper’s EU Regulatory, Trade and Government Affairs team of lawyers, policy experts, former diplomats and government officials stands ready to represent your client's interests in Brussels. By monitoring and analysing legislative and political developments, we identify regulatory and policy changes that can impact clients.

Through strategic engagement and regulatory advocacy we represent clients before the EU institutions, including the European Commission, the Council, and the European Parliament.

DLA Piper’s EU Regulatory, Trade, and Government Affairs team ensures that your client's position is heard and understood by those that matter - in Brussels and beyond.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions