Select Committee on European Communities Tenth Report



Note:  Terms are defined here in the context of this inquiry, not necessarily as they are more generally understood. Terms defined elsewhere in the Glossary are shown in italics.

133 CommitteeThe committee of officials from EU Member States appointed by the Council under Article 133 of the EC Treaty to assist the Commission in international negotiations in relation to the common commercial policy (formerly known as the 113 Committee, prior to the renumbering of Articles in the consolidation of the Treaties which took effect after Amsterdam)
"ABA""Anything but agriculture": description by some commentators of the EU's position on topics for the WTO agenda
ABIAssociation of British Insurers
ACPAfrican, Caribbean and Pacific countries (party to the Lomé Convention)
ACWLAdvisory Centre on WTO Law: independent legal advice centre being established to help developing countries make full use of the WTO's dispute settlement mechanism
AFL-CIOThe main US labour federation
AFTAASEAN Free Trade Area
Agreement on AgriculturePart of 1994 Marrakesh Agreement relating to agriculture, to be implemented in no more than 6 years from 1 July 1995, including commitments to:

·  reduce domestic support (according to the type of support, classified into amber/blue/green boxes)

·  reduce export subsidies over a defined period;

·  improve market access by converting border protection measures into fixed customs duties, to reduce over a defined period;

·  re-open negotiations in 2000 (see "built-in agenda")

Amber boxAgreement on Agriculture: this "box" contains all forms of domestic aid to agriculture other than those contained in the blue or green boxes; measures in this box are deemed to impact on production and trade and are therefore directly targeted by reduction commitments
Amicus curiae"Friend of the court": an arrangement whereby a person with a strong interest in or views on the subject matter of an action, but not a party to the action, may petition the court for permission to file a brief; commonly used in appeals concerning matters of broad public interest (Black's Law Dictionary)
AMSAggregate Measure of Support (calculation of the amount of domestic subsidy for agriculture subject to restriction under trade agreements)
ANCERAustralia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations [Trade Agreement]
Anti-dumping measuresMeasures (usually duties) allowed to be applied where dumping is causing material injury to domestic industry: governed by WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement (Agreement on the Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994)
AOAAgreement on Agriculture
APECAsia-Pacific Economic Co-operation
APLNAsia Pacific Labour Network
Appellate BodyFinal adjudicating body in the WTO dispute settlement procedure
ASEANAssociation of South East Asian Nations (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam)
ASEMAsia-Europe Meeting
ATCAgreement on Textiles and Clothing 1995 (replaced the MFA)
ATLAccelerated tariff liberalisation initiative (US call for WTO members to reduce tariffs quickly in 8 sectors: chemicals; energy products; environmental products, fish; forest products; jewellery; medical and scientific equipment; toys)
Basel agreementConvention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (1989)
Bern ConventionWIPO Convention on Intellectual Property
BIBritish Invisibles
BIACBusiness and Industry Advisory Committee (to OECD)
Binding Commitment not to increase a tariff or raise a barrier above a maximum level
Biosafety ProtocolProtocol to the Convention on biological diversity to regulate the trade and use of GMOs that could have an impact on the environment, agreed in Montreal, January 2000 (Cartagena Protocol, so called because negotiations on it started in Cartagena, Colombia in February 1999)
BITBilateral investment treaty (called "Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement" in the UK)
Blair House accordAgreement between US and EU on agricultural issues (November 1992)
Blue boxAgreement on Agriculture: this "box" contains forms of domestic support for agriculture paid either per hectare or per head of livestock, which are deemed to be only partly linked to production, and are therefore excluded from the reduction commitment
Bonn ConventionConvention on the conservation of migratory species of wild animals (June 1979)
Bound duty free access/tariffsSee binding
Bretton Woods institutionsInternational Bank for Reconstruction and Development; International Monetary Fund
Brittan, Sir LeonPreviously EU Trade Commissioner (now Lord Brittan of Spennithorne)
"Built-in agenda"Agenda agreed as part of the Uruguay Round for WTO negotiations to start in January 2000, including reviews of all the existing agreements and dispute settlement procedures ("left over issues"), and new negotiations on agriculture and services
BWG(Proposed) biotechnology working group within WTO: favoured by US at Seattle but rejected by EU
Cairns GroupGroup of large agricultural producers (including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Paraguay, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Uruguay)
CAP[EU] Common Agricultural Policy
"Cardiff process"Response to invitation from the June 1998 Cardiff European Council to all relevant formations of the Council to establish strategies for giving effect to environmental integration and sustainable development within their policy areas
CARICOMThe Caribbean Community
"Carousel" sanctionsSanctions in pursuance of a decision in the WTO dispute settlement procedure which are rotated from one product to another
Cartagena Protocol See Biosafety Protocol
CBDConvention on Biological Diversity
CBEACaribbean Banana Exporters Association
CBIConfederation of British Industry
CCC(Former) Customs Co-operation Council (now replaced by WCO)
CITESConvention on International Trade in Endangered Species (1973)
"Civil society"Used to refer to informal groups, often non-governmental organisations
Codex The Codex Alimentarius Commission, established jointly by FAO and WHO; named in the SPS Agreement as the arbiter of scientific analyses of risk, and as able to determine whether barriers to trade based on health concerns are justified
COGECAGeneral Committee for Agricultural Co-operation in the EU
COMESACommon Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
Comparative advantageThe principle that economic welfare will be maximised if suppliers focus on providing those goods and services in which they are relatively more competitive
Compulsory licensingProvision under Article 31 of TRIPs waiving the need for authorisation for the use of a patented process or product "in cases of national emergency or other circumstances of extreme urgency or in cases of public non-commercial use"
Convention on Biological DiversityAdopted at UNCED, Rio de Janeiro, 1992
Convention on Climate Change Adopted at UNCED, Rio de Janeiro, 1992
COPACommittee of Agricultural Organisations in the European Community
Core labour standards/rightsThe right to freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of all forms of compulsory labour; the effective abolition of child labour; the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation (specified in ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work)
CSD(United Nations) Commission on Sustainable Development (created in 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED)
CTDWTO Committee on Trade and Development
CTEWTO Committee on Trade and Environment
"Cultural exception"Excludes TV, broadcasting, films etc from normal trade rules
Customs UnionGrouping in which all members charge the same set of customs duty rates on imports from non-members
CVDCountervailing duties (import taxes to offset subsidies): governed by Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures
Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Issued by ILO in 1998; every member of ILO is committed to core labour standards by virtue of ILO membership
DETRUK Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
"Development Round"WTO Round focused on a better deal for developing countries
DFIDUK Department for International Development
DSB Dispute Settlement Body (the WTO General Council in another guise)
DSMWTO dispute settlement mechanism
DSPWTO dispute settlement procedure
DSUWTO dispute settlement understanding
DTIUK Department of Trade and Industry
DumpingThe sale of goods in an overseas market at an unsustainable price lower than that normally charged in the home market
"Early harvest"The aim of reaching early agreement where possible on the substance of individual WTO issues (US position for Seattle): on contrast to "single undertaking"
EC TreatyTreaty establishing the European Community, as amended by the Treaty of Amsterdam
Eco-labellingLabelling of goods to show the production or processing method used
ECOSOCUN Economic and Social Council
EFTAEuropean Free Trade Association
ESFEuropean Services Forum
ETUCEuropean Trade Union Confederation
"EU mandate"The negotiating mandate given by the EU Council of Ministers to the Commission in relation to the determination of an agenda for the next WTO Round (adopted by the General Affairs Council on 26 October 1999, confirmed by it on 15 November 1999 as the mandate for Seattle, and re-confirmed by the March 2000 Informal Trade Council in Oporto); reproduced in full at Appendix 3
"EU negotiating position"See "EU mandate"
FAOUN Food and Agriculture Organisation
Facilitation [of trade]Minimising the economic frictions of trade across borders by harmonisation, simplification and automation of procedures
Fast-track negotiating authorityAgreement by US Congress to allow the administration to reach an agreement in international negotiations (not [yet] granted for WTO negotiations)
FCCCFramework Convention on Climate Change
FDIForeign direct investment
FEACOEuropean Federation of Management Consultancy Associations
FMOFramework of Mutual Obligations: procedure for disbursing EU STABEX funds, requiring agreement between the EU and the recipient as to how the funds will be used
"Food security box"Proposed further box under the Agreement on Agriculture, to contain support measures used by developing countries to protect their agricultural sectors up to the point of self-sufficiency, which would be exempt from the reduction commitment
Free Trade AreaGrouping where trade within the group is duty free, but each member can set its own duty rates on imports from non-members (eg NAFTA)
FSCForeign Sales Corporations: shell companies in offshore tax havens through which US firms channel foreign income to avoid tax
FTAA(Proposed) Free Trade Area of the Americas, for which negotiations began in 1998
G77See Group of 77
GATSGeneral Agreement on Trade in Services (came into force in 1995, providing legally binding rules to govern world trade in services). Covers all service sectors except air transport, listing specific sectors which each country has agreed to open to international competition. Specific agreements for telecommunications and financial services signed in 1997
GATTGeneral Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, signed in 1947 and updated in 1994; and the international organisation created to support that agreement (now replaced by the WTO)
GDPGross Domestic Product
General CouncilRuling body of the WTO, reporting to Ministerial Conference (also meets as TPRB and DSB)
General equilibrium modelEconometric model showing the equilibrium prices and quantities of each product and factor of production in interdependent markets
Generalised system of preferences Arrangement under which developed countries offer preferential market access to products from developing countries in order to promote their development and growth; additional preferences may be offered to imports from countries meting certain social and environmental standards
Geneva declarationDeclaration following second WTO Ministerial Conference (Geneva, May 1998), committing the WTO to further liberalisation
GM[Os]Genetically modified [organisms]
GNPGross National Product
GPAGovernment Procurement Agreement, last renegotiated in 1995; plurilateral agreement among a limited number of countries rather than all the WTO member countries
Green boxAgreement on Agriculture: this "box" contains forms of domestic support for agriculture (for example, aid for training, services, research and environmental protection) which are deemed to have no effect on the volume produced or traded, and are therefore excluded from the reduction commitments
Green roomSystem established in Uruguay Round for discussion of particular issues by countries most concerned. In Seattle, used to try to reach final general statement (involving some 25 members selected by the WTO Director-General with the agreement of the chair of the Ministerial Conference)
Group of 77 Group established by 77 developing countries at the end of the first session of UNCTAD in 1964, to serve as a voice for the third world within the UN system. Membership has now increased to 133, including a number of Middle Eastern countries (eg Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia) and some other countries not normally classified as "Third World" (eg Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Malta and Romania).
GSPGeneralised system of preferences
GTAPGlobal Trade Analysis Project (general equilibrium trade modelling framework and data base)
Havana Charter1948: proposed the establishment of International Trade Organisation (ITO), but did not take effect because not ratified by the US
High Level SymposiaMeetings on environmental and development issues in March 1999 at which representatives from WTO member countries discussed relevant issues with interested groups
Horizontal liberalisation Principle that a liberalisation measure accepted in one field must be extended to all
"House, the"Term used by WTO officials to refer to the organisation as a whole
"Humanising the WTO"Term used to mean including provisions on labour-related aspects of trade in WTO agreements
IBRDInternational Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank)
ICFTUInternational Confederation of Free Trade Unions
ICSIDInternational Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (of the IBRD)
IFIntegrated Framework
ILOInternational Labour Organisation: UN tripartite body (governments, trade unions, employers)
IMFInternational Monetary Fund
"Implementation"Used to refer particularly to the burden on developing countries of complying with Uruguay Round agreements
Information Technology Agreement1997 Agreement in which 40 countries agreed to eliminate customs duties on a wide range of IT products
Integrated FrameworkProgramme of co­operation established in 1997 to provide technical assistance on WTO-related issues, involving WTO, IBRD, IMF, UNCTAD, UNDP and ITC
International Office of EpizooticsBody named in SPS Agreement as responsible for animal health standards (also known as World Animal Health Organisation)
IOEInternational Organisation of Employers
IP[R] Intellectual property [rights]
ISOInternational Standards Organisation
ITCInternational Trade Centre (established by GATT in 1964 to help developing countries promote their exports): operated jointly by WTO and UNCTAD
ITO(Proposed) International Trade Organisation, initially conceived by Havana Charter as a third arm of the Bretton Woods institutions, and then as a UN specialised agency
ITTOInternational Tropical Timber Organisation
JITAPJoint technical assistance programme for Africa run by ITC, UNCTAD and WTO
Jubilee 2000Proposal for debt relief for poorest countries
Kyoto ConferenceConference on climate change (1997), resulting in agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Lamy, PascalEU Commissioner for Trade
LDCsLeast developed countries (defined by the UN as the 48 countries with annual per capita incomes in 1994 of less than $725)
"Left over issues"See "built-in agenda"
LiberalisationThe lowering or removal of barriers to trade
LIFICLow-income food importing countries
Like productsProducts between which no distinction is allowed under WTO rules
Lomé ConventionCo-operation agreement established in 1975 between the Member States of the EC and the ACP countries; revised 4 times; now has 71 members. Further revision due to take effect in June 2000
LOTISCommittee (of British Invisibles) on Liberalisation Of Trade In Services
MAFFUK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
MAIMultilateral Agreement on Investment (negotiations launched in OECD in 1995, but abandoned in 1998)
Marrakesh Agreement 1994 Agreement incorporating the results of the Uruguay Round
MEAMultilateral Environmental Agreement
MercantilismView that market opening is a concession, to be given in return for export opportunities
MercosurSouthern Common Market in Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay)
MFA1974 Multifibre Arrangement, more formally "the Arrangement regarding International Trade in Textiles" (replaced by ATC from 1995)
MFNMost-favoured nation: see non-discrimination
Miami GroupGroup of exporting nations including US, Canada, Australia, Chile, Argentina
MIGAMultilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
Millennium RoundName proposed for the Round of WTO negotiations planned to start in 2000
Ministerial ConferenceMeeting of Trade Ministers from WTO member countries (at least every two years) to give political direction and the work programme
MNCs/MNEsMultinational corporations/ enterprises (based in more than one country)
Montreal ProtocolProtocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (1987)
Moore, MikeDirector General of WTO (term of office 1999-2002)
MTSMultilateral trading system
"Multifunctionality"Term applied to agriculture in recognition of the fact that it not only provides food and employment, but also preserves the rural landscape and provides a social and cultural structure for rural communities; sometimes extended to cover health and safety, forestry, environmental protection and animal welfare aspects
Multilateral trading systemThe system operated by the WTO, applying in all its member countries, in contrast to plurilateral agreements reached regionally or by smaller groups of countries
NAFTANorth America Free Trade Agreement (US, Canada, Mexico)
National treatment clauseProhibits discrimination between domestic and foreign products once they have entered the market
NFIDCNet food importing developing country
NGONon-governmental organisation
Non-discriminationOne of the founding principles of the WTO, that any favourable treatment secured by one member country automatically becomes available to all countries (formerly known as "most favoured nation" treatment: MFN)
Non-trade aspects [of agriculture]See "multifunctionality"
NTBNon-tariff barrier
OAU/AECOrganisation of African Unity/African Economic Community
ODAOfficial development assistance
OECDOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
ORITOrganisacion Regional Interamericana del Trabajo
Parallel importingImporting products from countries where they are on sale more cheaply (than in their country of production)
Paris ConventionWIPO Convention on Industrial Property
"Peace Clause"Article 13 of the Agreement on Agriculture, exempting internal support measures and export subsidies from retaliatory actions based on the GATT or on the Agreement on Subsidies until the end of 2003
Philadelphia Declaration 19441944 Declaration giving ILO the task of ensuring that labour standards would be incorporated into the work of IBRD and IMF
Plurilateral agreementsAgreements signed by some, but not all, WTO members: on trade in civil aircraft (in force since 1980) and government procurement (in force since 1981), and formerly also dairy products and bovine meat (both terminated in 1997)
Plurilateral CommitteesCommittees which inform the WTO General Council of their activities although not all members have signed the plurilateral agreements with which they deal
PPMsProduction and processing methods
Prebisch, RaulFirst Secretary General of UNCTAD
Precautionary principleThe principle that even when the exact effect (if any) of a product or activity is not known, action may be taken when there are prima facie grounds for believing that it presents a threat to human health and consumer safety
Production and processing methodsThe way in which traded goods are produced; goods produced using different production and processing methods (some of which may be more environmentally or socially desirable than others) may nevertheless be deemed to be like products
ProtectionismShielding domestic producers from foreign competition by the use of such measures as high tariffs
"Prudential carve-out"Provision in GATS allowing countries to maintain their own controls over financial services for prudential reasons
Quad [group]EU, US, Canada, Japan, together accounting for over 50 per cent of world trade (excluding intra-EU trade)
Quint [group]EU, US, Canada, Japan, Australia
R&DResearch and development
Regulatory systemsSupervisory régimes applying to services (including, but not limited to, financial services)
REPAsRegional Economic Partnership Agreements (in effect, free trade agreements between the EU and groups of ACP countries)
Rotterdam ConventionConvention on the application of the prior informed consent procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade (1998: not yet in force)
"Round"A series of parallel and inter-related negotiations
RTARegional Trade Agreement (eg EU, NAFTA, ASEAN, Mercosur). Permitted by WTO provided that internal trade is barrier-free in substantially all sectors and that regional trade barriers are not raised against third parties
Ruggiero, RenatoPrevious Director-General of the WTO
Rules of originCriteria used to define in which country a good is deemed to have been "made". Non-preferential rules of origin are used for the purposes (for example) of trade statistics and import quotas; preferential rules (often stricter) are designed to ensure that only those goods which genuinely originate in one of the member countries of a regional free trade area benefit from the agreement
S&DSpecial and differential treatment
SAARCSouth Asian Association for Regional Co-operation
SADCSouthern Africa Development Conference
Safeguard actionsTemporary import restrictions, allowed if domestic industry is injured or threatened with injury caused by surge in imports (governed by Agreement on Safeguards)
SchedulingIn GATS, the listing of commitments by individual WTO member countries on liberalisation of individual sectors
SeattleLocation of WTO Ministerial Conference in November 1999, intended to agree an agenda for a new Round of negotiations
SELALatin American Economic System
Singapore declarationDeclaration following first WTO Ministerial Conference (Singapore, December 1996)
"Single undertaking"Intention to agree an agenda of items whose substance would be agreed as a single package (EU position for Seattle): in contrast to "early harvest"
SMEsSmall and medium-sized enterprises
Social partnersRepresentatives of industry and of organised labour
Special and differential treatmentConcessions (such as extended transition periods) for developing countries or least developed countries
Special safeguard clauseAllows extra duty to be imposed for certain perishable goods so as to remedy situations involving violent swings in quantities or prices that could threaten the market (Article 5 of Marrakesh Agreement)
SPSAgreement on Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary measures (governing trade restrictions used to protect human, animal and plant health)
STABEXEU export stabilisation funds
SubsidyFinancial assistance given to an enterprise by a government; some subsidies (for example programmes of aid to SMEs) are allowed under the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures
Supachai Panitchpakdi The next Director-General of the WTO, whose term of office is to begin in 2002
Sustainable development"Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (Brundtland Commission, 1987); specified in the EC Treaty as a fundamental objective and task of the EC
TABDTransatlantic Business Dialogue
TACDTransatlantic Consumer Dialogue
TAEDTransatlantic Environmental Dialogue
TariffAn additional tax on imported products (as compared with domestic products)
Tariff escalationStructure whereby tariffs increase according to the level of processing
Tariff peaksHigh tariffs charged on particular products which governments consider to be sensitive
TBTAgreement on Technical Barriers to Trade: attempting to ensure that regulations, standards, testing and certification procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles
TEUTreaty on European Union (as amended by the Treaty of Amsterdam)
"Third sector"US term for "civil society"
TMBTextiles Monitoring Body
TNCTransnational corporation
Tokyo RoundGATT Round 1973-79
TRQTariff rate quota (whereby specified tariff rates apply to specified quantities of a product, and higher rates apply thereafter)
TPRBTrade Policy Review Body (the WTO General Council in another guise)
TPRMTrade Policy Review Mechanism, through which WTO conducts regular reviews of trade policies of individual member countries
TransparencyOne of the founding principles of the WTO: members undertake to make their trade rules as clear and public as possible and to notify them to the WTO. More generally, used to mean making information available to civil society
TRIMsAgreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures
TRIPsTrade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property rights: Agreement setting out minimum standards of intellectual property protection, covering copyrights, trademarks, patents, geographical indications, industrial designs and trade secrets
TUACTrade Union Advisory Council (to OECD)
TUCTrades Union Congress
UNUnited Nations
UNCEDUnited Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992): "Earth Summit"
UNCITRALUnited Nations Commission on International Trade Law
UNCSDUN Commission on Sustainable Development (functional commission of ECOSOC)
UNCTADUN Conference on Trade and Development
UNCTAD XTenth UN Conference on Trade and Development in Bangkok, February 2000
UNDPUnited Nations Development Programme
UNEPUnited Nations Environment Programme
UNICEUnion of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe
UPOVInternational Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants
Uruguay RoundGATT Round 1986-1994 (opened in Punta del Este, and concluded with Marrakesh Agreement)
USITCUS International Trade Commission
WCOWorld Customs Organisation (of which the EU is not yet a member)
WHOUN World Health Organisation
WIPOWorld Intellectual Property Organisation: UN specialised agency, responsible for "the protection of intellectual property throughout the world through co­operation among States and for the administration of various multilateral treaties dealing with the legal and administrative aspects on intellectual property"
WTOWorld Trade Organisation (established in 1995 as the successor to GATT)

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