The European Parliament’s 2008 resolution on trade and economic relations with ASEAN states that ‘a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), containing enforceable human rights clauses, is a prerequisite for the Union to conclude an FTA with any country’. Negotiations for a PCA were concluded with Singapore in 2013. The signature of the agreement took place in October 2018, alongside that of the trade and investment agreements. On 13 February 2019, the European Parliament gave its consent to the conclusion of the EU-Singapore PCA.
The European Parliament resolution of 5 July 2016 on a new forward-looking and innovative future strategy for trade and investment stressed the need for successfully concluded trade negotiations to be ratified as swiftly as possible; more specifically, it called for the conclusion of the deal with Singapore.
In its resolution of 13 February 2019 on the conclusion of the free trade agreement, Parliament underlined the economic and strategic importance of the FTA. Besides highlighting, among other things, the facilitation for EU companies to access the services market and public procurement market in Singapore, and the recognition of the right of Member States at all levels to define and provide public services, Parliament deplored the fact that the protection of the EU GIs included in the agreement is not automatic. It requested that the development of the registration procedure should be started immediately, and that the registry should be established. It also stressed that Singapore should work towards ratifying the three outstanding International Labour Organization (ILO) core conventions.
In its resolution of the same day on the investment protection agreement (IPA), Parliament highlighted that the IPA, by replacing the existing bilateral investment agreements between Singapore and 13 EU Member States, will create greater coherence. It welcomed the new investment court system (ICS) included in the agreement, and that the IPA will provide for a high level of investment protection, transparency and accountability. It also welcomed Singapore’s commitment to the establishment of the multilateral investment court. However, it deplored, for instance, the lack of provisions on investor responsibilities.