On May 22, 2018, the Council adopted conclusions on how trade agreements are negotiated and concluded. Trade agreements are generally very complex because they are legal texts covering a wide range of activities, from agriculture to intellectual property. But they share a number of fundamental principles. The Council plays a crucial role in the development of a new trade agreement. Trade outside the EU is the exclusive responsibility of the EU and not of the national governments of the Member States. This means that EU institutions adopt trade laws, negotiate and conclude international trade agreements. In June 2018, the European Council stressed the need to maintain and deepen the rules-based multilateral system, amid growing trade tensions around the world. The Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia) and the Eastern European countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, but without Russia, which insists on the creation of four COMMON EU-Russia areas) fall under the EPI. Seven Mediterranean countries have established a “Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement” (EMAA) with the EU, while Palestine has an interim EMAA agreement.  Syria signed an EMAA in 2008, but the signing was postponed sine die. Negotiations for a framework agreement with the remaining Libyan state have been suspended. The Republic of Moldova and Ukraine of the Eastern Partnership have entered into association agreements. Armenia concluded A.A.
negotiations in 2013, but decided not to sign the agreement, while Azerbaijan was negotiating an AA. This increase in trade leads to economic growth and contributes to job creation. It also offers consumers a greater choice of products at lower prices. The European Court of Justice has ruled that the provisions relating to arbitration between the investor state (including a special tribunal under some free trade agreements) fall within the shared jurisdiction between the European Union and its Member States and that, for this reason, their ratification should be authorised by both the EU and each of the 28 Member States.  EU Trade Policy on Sustainable Development in EU Trade Agreements, Implementation of EU Trade Negotiations, Related Documents. In some circumstances, trade negotiations with a trading partner have been concluded, but have not yet been signed or ratified.