EU-Israel Agreement (ACAA): EP gives its consent. Laima Andrikiene MEP and Daniel Caspary MEP

EPP Group Rapporteur Laima Andrikiene MEP and Daniel Caspary, EPP Group Coordinator in the Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament, have welcomed the result of the European Parliament’s vote giving consent to the EU-Israel Agreement on conformity assessment and acceptance of industrial products (ACAA): 379 in favour, 230 against with 41 abstentions. The vote endorsed the EPP Group line on this important agreement between the EU and Israel, whose Additional Protocol on pharmaceutical products will help facilitate market access by eliminating technical barriers to trade on industrial products.

Speaking in the plenary debate before the votes in the presence of EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht, Laima Andrikiene also welcomed the fact that the ACAA Agreement finally reached the plenary vote after discussions that have lasted more than two and a half years in the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament. „Israel is the first country in the Mediterranean region to fulfil the basic conditions to conclude an ACAA Agreement with the EU“, said Ms Andrikienė and Mr Caspary. „Once in force, the ACAA foresees mutual recognition of regulatory and verification procedures for pharmaceutical products in the EU and Israel. Such mutual recognition would certainly benefit European consumers. Since there would no longer be a need for additional testing in the EU, something that normally takes from one to three years, European consumers would get quicker access to Israeli pharmaceutical products“, argued the MEPs.

Mrs Andrikiene continued: „In order to conclude this Agreement and the Additional Protocol, Israel had to substantially approximate its regulatory framework on pharmaceutical products to that of the EU. In this way, the EU is spreading its acquis communautaire to Israel, with a spill-over effect to other areas as well. It is in the EU’s interest to get Israel’s legislation and standards closer to the EU.“

The Council approved this agreement right after its conclusion in May 2010 and renewed its decision in July 2012. „Since June 2010, we, in the European Parliament, had more than enough time to discuss all questions regarding ACAA as well as to address all possible concerns and today the time had come for us to make a final decision and adopt the Protocol. We encouraged our colleagues not to deliberate anymore on this issue and to give our consent to this important EU-Israel Agreement“, Laima Andrikiene and Daniel Caspary concluded.

For further information:
Daniel CASPARY MEP, Tel: +33-3-88175978