EC issues recommendations for upcoming negotiations with UK
On 3 February 2020, the European Commission issued a recommendation to the Council to open negotiations on a new partnership with the United Kingdom. This recommendation is based on the existing European Council guidelines and conclusions, as well as on the Political Declaration agreed between the EU and the United Kingdom in October 2019.
It includes a comprehensive proposal for negotiating directives, defining the scope and terms of the future partnership that the European Union envisages with the United Kingdom. These directives cover all areas of interest for the negotiations, including trade and economic cooperation, law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, foreign policy, security and defence, participation in Union programmes and other thematic areas of cooperation.
With regard to participation in Union programmes, the proposal states that "The envisaged partnership should establish general principles, terms and conditions for the United Kingdom’s participation in and contribution to Union and Euratom programmes, subject to the conditions set out in the corresponding instruments, in areas such as science and innovation, youth, culture and education, development and international cooperation, defence capabilities, civil protection, space and other relevant areas when in the Union’s interest. This will include the general rules for the financing and the control and audit of the implementation of the programmes, and the appropriate consultation of the United Kingdom."
As for mobility, the EC proposal states that "The envisaged partnership should aim at setting out conditions for entry and stay for purposes such as research, study, training and youth exchanges." The proposal also refers to defence research, stating that "collaboration in the development of research and capability projects of the European Defence Agency (EDA)" should be facilitated through an administrative arrangement, where it is in the industrial and technological interest of the Union.
This EC recommendation is the first step in the negotiation process, as the Council is invited to authorise the Commission to formally open the negotiations for a new partnership with the United Kingdom. As a next step, the Council will have to adopt the draft negotiating directives.
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