Relevant legislation

.  Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA)


The GPA is a plurilateral agreement within the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). At present, the Agreement  comprises 43 WTO members. Another 28 WTO members participate in the GPA Committee as observers. The aim of the GPA is to open government procurement markets mutually among its parties. The GPA is composed mainly of two parts:

- the text of the Agreement, which establishes rules requiring that open, fair and transparent conditions of competition be ensured in government procurement. However, these rules do not automatically apply to all procurement activities of each party.

- the coverage schedules, which determines whether a procurement activity is covered by the Agreement or not.

Learn more about the GPA on the WTO website

.  Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)


The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) is a trade agreement currently being negotiated by 23 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), including the EU. TiSA aims at opening up markets and improving rules in areas such as licensing, financial services, telecoms, e-commerce, maritime transport, and professionals moving abroad temporarily to provide services. It is based on the WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), which involves all WTO members. Lear more about the TISA on the Commission website.

.  Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)


The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade agreement that is presently

being negotiated between the European Union and the United States. It aims at removing trade

barriers in a wide range of economic sectors to make it easier to buy and sell goods and services

between the EU and the US. On top of cutting tariffs across all sectors, the EU and the US want to

tackle barriers behind the customs border – such as differences in technical regulations, standards

and approval procedures. The TTIP negotiations will also look at opening markets for services,

investment, and public procurement. Learn more about the TTIP on the Commission website

.  EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)

The CETA is a new trade agreement between the EU and Canada. It cuts tariffs and makes it easier to export goods and services, benefitting people and businesses in both the EU and Canada. CETA entered into force provisionally on 21 September 2017, meaning most of the agreement now applies. National parliaments in EU countries – and in some cases regional ones too – will then need to approve CETA before it can take full effect. More information on the Commission website


In this respect, on 20 April 2018, the Architects' Council of Europe (ACE) signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA), which sets out the terms and conditions for the recognition of architects' qualifications between the EU and Canada. Once formally recommended and agreed by the MRA Committee of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement  (CETA), this agreement will facilitate the movement of architects between both jurisdictions. Read here the Press Release



Intellectual Property Rights

.  IPR Helpdesks in China  The China IPR SME Helpdesk supports European Union (EU) small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to both protect and enforce their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in or relating to China, through the provision of free information and services. These take the form of jargon-free, first-line, confidential advice on intellectual property and related issues, plus training, materials and online resources.

.  IPR Helpdesks in South-East Asia The ASEAN IPR SME Helpdesk supports European Union (EU) small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to both protect and enforce their Intellectual Property (IP) rights in or relating to ASEAN, through the provision of free information and services. These take the form of jargon-free, first-line, confidential advice on intellectual property and related issues, plus training, materials and online resources.

.  IPR Helpdesks in Mercosur 
(Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela) - The Mercosur IPR SME Helpdesk offers free of charge, first-line support on IP and IP rights matters to facilitate the expansion of European SMEs (EU SMEs and SMEs from the Associated countries) already established at, or working with entities in MERCOSUR and Chile as well as those potentially interested in establishing commercial and R&D activities and ventures in these countries.

.  EU-US transatlantic IPR portal  The United States and the European Union share the aim of helping businesses–particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)–protect and enforce their intellectual property rights in foreign markets around the world. This portal will make it easier to find resources related to intellectual property rights for businesses.

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