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Vietnam FTA: Legal scrubbing till April

The trade agreement between the EU and Vietnam will be sent to the European Parliament and the Council for approval potentially in April. The legal scrubbing is expected to be finalised the next few weeks while translation is expected to take another 4-5 months. Officially, the delay is not related to the new negotiating mandates on investment protection and the Commission’s recent decision to determine its approach to yet-to-be-ratified FTAs on a case-by-case basis.

Discussions are ongoing on the architecture of the agreement in light of the opinion by the Court of Justice of the EU over EU-only competence of investment protection. At this stage, the agreement cannot be opened up for further negotiations, which somewhat explains the delicate nature and drawn out nature of the legal scrubbing.

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