The fourth EU Implementation Report (other languages), published in November 2020 and preceded by the preface by DG Commerce Director-General Sabine Weyand (other languages), provides an overview of the results achieved in 2019 and the remarkable work for the EU`s 36 main preferential trade agreements. The accompanying staff working document provides detailed information in accordance with the trade agreement and trading partners. Of course, this clear division does not mean that the ratification of free trade agreements lacks democratic legitimacy. Responsibility for trade policy rests with the EU; since the Lisbon Treaty, trade agreements must be ratified by the European Parliament. Nevertheless, Member States` parliaments should be informed in a timely and comprehensive manner of negotiations on free trade agreements in order to allow for a well-informed public debate. A transparent negotiation process also includes the publication of the European Commission`s negotiating mandates. In accordance with the ECJ guidelines, the EU is now designing free trade agreements to remain within the exclusive competence of the EU. Therefore, areas such as investor-state dispute settlement and portfolio investments must be negotiated in the case of separate agreements. This clear division of the domains into different agreements makes it possible for European legislators to ratify and enforce free trade agreements quickly and reliably.

However, such a separation is not possible if trade agreements are an integral part of political association agreements (for example. B with Ukraine, Mexico, Mercosur, etc.). These contracts remain mixed, if only because of the foreign and security policy components (the EU negotiations with Mercosur are based on a 20-year term and do not involve the settlement of investor-state disputes). Types of accumulation: bilateral accumulation: only with primary subjects of the two free trade partners (bilateral) (for example. B Switzerland-Japan or AELE-COLOMBIA). Diagonal accumulation: possible with primary subjects of several free trade partners, as all apply the same country of origin rules (e.g.B. EU-EFTA-Turkey). Cumulative euro-med: this is also possible with primary materials from Mediterranean countries, since all the free trade partners concerned apply the same country of origin rules and there are agreements between them. Participating countries: Egypt, Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as the Faroe Islands. Effective 1 January 2012, the countries of the Western Balkans were also admitted to the Euro-med cumulative zone: Albania, Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia. Cumulative with the EU is not yet possible and does not apply to agricultural products mentioned in Chapters 1 to 24. Pan-European accumulation: with primary materials from EFTA, the EU or Turkey.

Full accumulation: the appropriate treatment must not take place on the customs territory of a single country, but can be carried out throughout the territory of a free trade agreement. Full accumulation is only provided for under the AELE-Tunisia free trade agreement. Free trade agreements are international treaties between two parties (countries or transnational groups) to ensure free trade. The European Union negotiates free trade agreements on behalf of all its member states, as EU member states have granted « exclusive jurisdiction » to conclude trade agreements. Nevertheless, the governments of the Member States control every step of the process (through the Council of the European Union, whose members are the national ministers of each national government).