Procedure : 2018/2005(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0319/2018

Texts tabled :

A8-0319/2018

Debates :

PV 25/10/2018 - 9
CRE 25/10/2018 - 9

Votes :

PV 25/10/2018 - 13.23
CRE 25/10/2018 - 13.23

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0439

REPORT     
PDF 543kWORD 108k
12.10.2018
PE 622.206v02-00 A8-0319/2018

on harnessing globalisation: trade aspects

(2018/2005(INI))

Committee on International Trade

Rapporteur: Joachim Schuster

AMENDMENTS
MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 OPINION of the Committee on Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education
 OPINION of the Committee on Legal Affairs
 INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on harnessing globalisation: trade aspects

(2018/2005(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission reflection paper of 10 May 2017 entitled ‘Harnessing globalisation’,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 13 September 2017 entitled ‘A balanced and progressive trade policy to harness globalisation’ (COM(2017)0492),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 13 September 2017 for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for screening of foreign direct investments into the European Union (COM(2017)0487),

–  having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘Trade for all – Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy’ (COM(2015)0497),

–  having regard to its resolution of 30 May 2018 entitled ‘Annual Report on the implementation of the Common Commercial Policy’(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 5 July 2016 on a new forward-looking and innovative future strategy for trade and investment(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 December 2017 entitled ‘Towards a digital trade strategy’(3),

–  having regard to the Commission report of 13 September 2017 on the implementation of the trade policy strategy trade for all delivering a progressive trade policy to harness globalisation (COM(2017)0491),

–  having regard to the Commission report of 9 November 2017 on implementation of free trade agreements, 1 January 2016 – 31 December 2016 (COM(2017)0654),

–  having regard to the resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015, entitled ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’,

–  having regard to resolution 26/9 of the UN Human Rights Council adopted on 26 June 2014, and in particular the decision therein ‘to establish an open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights, whose mandate shall be to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises’,

–  having regard to the UN guiding principles on human rights impact assessments of trade and investment agreements,

–  having regard to the State of the Union address by the President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, of 13 September 2017,

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2017 on the impact of international trade and the EU’s trade policies on global value chains(4),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2017/2321 of the European Parliament and of the Council 12 December 2017 amending Regulation (EU) 2016/1036 on protection against dumped imports from countries not members of the European Union and Regulation (EU) 2016/1037 on protection against subsidised imports from countries not members of the European Union(5),

–  having regard to its position at first reading of 16 March 2017 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas(6),

–  having regard to its position at first reading of 4 October 2016 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1236/2005 concerning trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 November 2010 on human rights and social and environmental standards in international trade agreements(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 November 2010 on international trade policy in the context of climate change imperatives(9),

–  having regard to Articles 2 and 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to the non-paper of the Commission services of 26 February 2018 entitled ‘Feedback and way forward on improving the implementation and enforcement of Trade and Sustainable Development chapters in EU Free Trade Agreements’,

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document of 14 July 2015 entitled ‘Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – State of Play’ (SWD(2015)0144),

–  having regard to the OECD Due Diligence Guidance on Responsible Business Conduct published on 31 May 2018,

–  having regard to the Alliance for Torture-Free Trade launched at the UN General Assembly on 18 September 2017,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) of 10 April 2017 on improving access to remedy in the area of business and human rights at the EU level (1/2017),

–  having regard to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), in particular Article 4(1) thereof, prohibiting slavery and servitude,

–  having regard to the policy paper of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the WTO published on 10 April 2017 entitled ‘Making trade an engine of growth for all: the case for trade and for policies to facilitate adjustment’,

–  having regard to the OECD key issues paper of June 2017 entitled ‘Making globalisation work: better lives for all’(10),

–  having regard to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects,

–  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the European External Action Service entitled ‘Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations’ (JOIN(2016)0029),

–  having regard to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which has been in force since 25 April 2018(11),

–  having regard to Articles 10 and 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union of 2010,

–  having regard to Articles 167, 207, 208 and 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade and the opinions of the Committee on Development, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, the Committee on Culture and Education and the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0319/2018),

A.  whereas globalisation is a perpetual process that has created a new set of political, economic and social challenges for the future due to rapid technological advancement, and whereas virtually all sectors will change; whereas the regulatory and legislative framework is lagging behind these developments, putting significant social achievements at stake;

B.  whereas income inequality has remained at historic highs, but whereas the share of world population living in extreme poverty has decreased from 44 % in 1980 to 10 % in 2015; whereas Parliament agrees with the Commission that globalisation poses challenges also because its benefits are spread unequally among people and regions, and whereas unless active steps are taken, there is a risk that globalisation will compound the effect of technological advances and the recent economic crisis and contribute to further widening inequalities and social polarisation;

C.  whereas global trade openness and globalisation have had positive effects, lifting millions of people out of poverty and as such can contribute to the economic growth, prosperity and competitiveness of countries; whereas globalisation also poses challenges and its benefits are spread unequally among people and regions; whereas globalisation should not come at the expense of the environment; whereas EU citizens are increasingly demanding that the Union’s trade policy ensure that goods entering the EU market have been produced under decent and sustainable conditions and that, in the changing global context, the EU promote a values-based trade agenda;

D.  whereas values-based ‘open and fair trade’ and investment policies need a range of effective flanking policies in order to maximise the gains and minimise the losses of trade liberalisation for the EU and for the populations and economies of third countries; whereas the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aimed at ending poverty and achieving social and environmental progress, should become the benchmark for the success of the Union’s trade policy;

E.  whereas protectionism is a simplistic and weak answer to the challenges posed by globalisation; whereas protectionist policies that are not implemented in line with WTO rules will have a domino effect on all, hurting importers, exporters and consumers; whereas fair and ethical trade relations should become the norm in international economic relations;

F.  whereas climate change caused by human activity is leading to an acceleration beyond the worst predictions of the IPCC of the collapse in biodiversity and the medium-term threat to the survival of ecosystems – especially marine ecosystems – by pollution, particularly in connection with the exploitation of hydrocarbons,

G.  whereas the EU has the right to adopt policies on trade in cultural and audiovisual services with the aim of protecting and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions as well as cultural heritage, and contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 on quality education; whereas these other provisions include the common commercial policy, as defined in Article 207 of the TFEU;

H.  whereas Article 3(3) TEU states that the EU must respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity and ensure that Europe’s cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced;

I.  whereas Europe has a rich variety of traditions and strong cultural and creative industries, small and medium-sized enterprises and different systems of public media bodies and public film funding, and whereas the promotion of cultural diversity, access to culture and democratic dialogue must remain a guiding principle, in accordance with the EU international trade approach;

J.  whereas the cultural and creative industries contribute to the creation of decent jobs and to economic prosperity and account for approximately 2.6 % of the EU’s GDP, with a higher growth rate than the rest of the economy and representing one of the most resilient sectors during the financial crisis; whereas the development of trade in cultural and creative industry goods and services will constitute an important driver of sustainable economic growth and job creation in Europe;

K.  whereas the General Data Protection Regulation lays down high standards of personal data processing, which require a certain level of responsibility on the part of platforms and streaming services in the regulation of international trade;

L.  whereas the harnessing of globalisation in trade aspects concerning cultural goods implies strict compliance with all international conventions on the protection of cultural heritage, in particular the provisions of the 1954 Hague Convention, the 1970 UNESCO Convention and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention;

M.  whereas intercultural dialogue fosters respect and mutual understanding, and encourages fairer social and economic exchanges, including trade, helping to develop practices that promote the interests of all parties in a more balanced and respectful way and to fight unfair practices such as abusive clauses and imposed unilateral conditionalities;

Harnessing globalisation

1.  Welcomes the Commission reflection paper on harnessing globalisation and its focus on easing access to the positive effects of globalisation while pointing out the need to counter the negative effects;

2.  Stresses that international trade not only plays a decisive role in economic development and cooperation between countries in the globalised economy, but also has a fundamental influence on peace, socially and ecologically sustainable growth, employment, the eradication of poverty and food insecurity, human rights and the fight against climate change; recognises, therefore, the growing responsibility of the EU to contribute to answering these challenges in its global trade and external relations;

3.  Points out the need to effectively strengthen controls on the trading of dual-use goods, and consequently calls for the implementation of the Union’s obligations under the International Arms Trade Treaty;

Taking stock

4.  Notes that through globalisation, countries and economies are becoming increasingly interconnected; notes that this has led to the emergence of international value chains and points out that these value chains restructure the international division of labour as well as the interdependence of countries; recalls that their extremely complex nature, lack of transparency and dilution of liabilities may lead to a higher risk of human and labour rights violations, factual impunity for environmental crimes and large-scale tax avoidance and tax fraud; reiterates the benefits of a common rules and values-based EU trade policy, including on issues such as human rights, working conditions and environmental protection;

5.  Notes that the benefits of globalisation are unequally distributed between regions and within societies, with some regions and sectors profiting to a large extent, while others suffer from structural changes and rising unemployment; notes that this, together with technology shifts such as automation and digitalisation, is a reason for the rising scepticism towards or rejection of globalisation in parts of society; notes that the financial and economic crises affected the distribution of income and aggravated the problem of poverty; takes note that in 2014 the average Gini coefficient of disposable household income reached the highest value on record in the last 30 years but showed a particularly negative trend in modest and mid-range incomes; observes that the middle class has shrunk in many EU Member States, while its share of overall income has equally decreased; expresses the view that the combination of a declining middle class, citizens’ fears over losing their social and economic position and scepticism towards globalisation can lead to protectionism, which is a simplistic answer to common fears; notes that in this context, neither nationalist-protectionist nor business-as-usual policies are an adequate response;

6.  Points out that the outlook of a sustainable and thriving domestic future supports the reduction and facilitates the management of illegal migration flows to Europe;

7.  Notes that where the economy fails, democracy also suffers; observes that democracy is now in decline almost everywhere; underlines that citizens are more empowered than ever but that many feel that democracy no longer serves them well; points out that this trend leads to autocratic and undemocratic states successfully weaponising our societies and capitalising on the popular backlash against globalisation;

8.  Notes that the economic importance of China and other Southeast Asian countries is growing significantly; stresses the increasing trade and investment flows within this region; points out that this trend will persist over years to come; notes that this will lead to a relative loss of importance for the present global economic centres of Europe and North America, as well as to new challenges as regards the preservation of a values-based international trade policy; stresses the importance of adapting to these new economic challenges; reiterates, therefore the need to further strengthen the rules and values-based multilateral system; stresses that these developments are likely to compromise European strategic interests;

9.  Notes that globalisation has led to a faster and wider spread of technology and innovation, and that technology can be a key enabler of trade; highlights the fact that the EU has yet not delivered on a digital trade strategy or addressed the benefits that the internet and digital ledger technologies can bring to international trade;

10.  Notes that the Chinese economy is growing significantly and increases its market share at the expense of Europe and North America; notes that China’s new Belt and Road Initiative is its attempt at becoming the world’s leading economic power; underlines that China’s influence, which is not just economic but has strategic and security-related dimensions, is spreading to Europe itself; sees the ‘America First’ policy as an attempt to confront the downturn of the United States’ and that it represents a destructive force for the rules-based world economic order;

11.  Stresses that the transatlantic axis has in recent decades always been a guarantor of global free trade based on values and that it can again assume this role in future; notes in this connection that a transatlantic agreement could provide a new impetus;

12.  Points out that the multilateral world economic order with the WTO at its centre is struggling to incorporate these profound changes, as well as the changing interests of countries in international agreements; notes that increasing protectionism in the United States and beyond, as well as the lack of consideration for the needs and expectations of developing countries in international agreements, weakens the WTO; considers the WTO appellate body to be particularly important for reconciling trade disputes and is gravely concerned by the blocking by the United States of the appointment of members of the body, which undermines the functioning of the WTO; calls on the Commission to show flexibility when it comes to reforming the WTO appellate body but to insist on a two-step settlement mechanism; regrets the lack of integration of the SDGs in the world trade agenda and the failure adequately to take them into account; expresses the view that the needs and expectations of developing countries should be better reflected in international agreements, as well as in the DOHA Development Round;

European policy

13.  Notes that the EU is presented with the challenge of functioning successfully in this changing global economic setting, meaning that it needs to assure its competitiveness while preserving social and environmental standards, increase its cooperation with the rising economies in Southeast Asia as well as India, China and Latin America, and address the increasing arbitrary protectionism of the United States; notes the importance of engaging in the restructuring of the world economic order and respecting the needs of developing countries as well as of the economically and socially deprived in developed countries; stresses that the aims of fulfilling the SDGs and implementing the Paris Agreement must serve as the overarching framework for pursuing this engagement, with policy coherence for development being of utmost importance; underlines that public finance, official development assistance and domestic resource mobilisation are necessary tools for achieving the SDGs;

14.  Stresses the importance of flanking policies to support the positive effects and opportunities provided by globalisation; underlines the need for structured, well-balanced free trade agreements; reiterates its support for the Commission’s trade policy and the promotion of trade policy tools and instruments in order to regulate and tackle the challenges of globalisation;

15.  Considers that the European Union offers an appropriate support framework for elaborating progressive rules on trade and investment, encouraging economic cooperation, solidarity between peoples and the fight against climate change; encourages the Union to further develop its initiatives in order to better regulate globalisation through effective support measures;

16.  Notes the difficulties encountered by Member States in dealing on their own with transnational challenges such as migration flows, financial crises, tax evasion, terrorism and climate change; emphasises the shared responsibility and role of regions and cities in harnessing globalisation; notes that the effectiveness of European actions depends on the efforts of Member States’;

17.  Points out that disputes between the EU and the US create new challenges for the EU but also generate opportunities to seek new ways to manage, shape and take responsibility for globalisation;

Europe’s internal response

18.  Agrees with the Commission that preserving international competitiveness while guaranteeing high social and environmental standards is a prerequisite for a successful European strategy; welcomes the further strengthening of the EU’s internal market as well as the consolidation of the economic union through the harmonisation of standards on social protection, wages and standards of living; believes that such harmonisation is vital, as a solid internal market is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of international strategies;

19.  Points out that being internationally competitive depends strongly on successfully shaping automation and digitalisation in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, while preserving the protection of European citizens’ private lives; notes that new technologies, especially blockchain, will transform the nature of international trade; notes the importance of achieving our climate policy goals and that the shift to renewable energies needs to happen as soon as possible; is of the view that the EU urgently needs to develop a real and effective industrial strategy with a view to reducing external vulnerabilities while fostering the transition to a low-carbon economy; considers that the opportunities and challenges that globalisation entails, as well as recent actions by certain third countries, should be met with an EU trade policy that favours open and fair trade with transparent rules and a strong multilateral system within the WTO;

20.  Points out that in accordance with Article 12 TFEU, which recognises that consumer protection requirements must be taken into account in defining and implementing other Union policies and activities, a dedicated chapter on consumer protection could contribute to achieving a high level of consumer protection by means of legal safeguards, for instance on the right to regulate and the precautionary principle, but could also deliver tangible benefits to consumers and foster consumer trust, including in online services, promote sustainable consumption, integrate the consumer interest in the implementation of whole trade agreements and contribute to the effective enforcement of consumer law, including in cross-border situations;

21.  Points out the need to ensure a more level playing field for SMEs; asks the Commission to create a European trade strategy for SMEs in order to integrate SMEs into international value chains and overcome trade-specific hurdles such as non-tariff barriers; points out that access to information is one of the biggest obstacles to market participation for SMEs, meaning that transparency and support need to increase; demands that the Commission develop instruments in this context to facilitate the handling of rules of origin and the use of preferences for SMEs; points out the large potential of unused preferences and demands that the Commission set ambitious targets for increasing utilisation rates; notes the importance of SMEs for the achievement of the SDGs; calls for the inclusion of dedicated chapters in trade agreements on the needs and interests of SMEs, especially with regard to market access facilitation;

22.  Notes that effective trade defence instruments are needed, welcomes the recent reform of trade defence instruments, which must be effectively and proportionately implemented in order to protect industries and jobs from dumped and unfairly subsidised imports; affirms that trade defence instruments should not be used for protectionist purposes; supports the measures put in place by the Commission following the imposition of steel and aluminium tariffs by the US; points out that rules on investment screening need to be put in place as soon as possible in order to prevent foreign investments that are merely motivated by industrial policy and serve to acquire European technologies; recalls the need for a strong International Procurement Instrument; welcomes the bold steps taken in integrating the dimension of social and environmental dumping into those instruments and calls on the Commission to continue developing solid methods in order to fully take those dimensions into account, including with regard to social and environmental standards applicable in exporting countries;

23.  Notes that, as a response to globalisation-induced job losses, Member States need to strengthen their labour market policies and their offer of training; notes, however, that a reform of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) is needed in order to meet the new challenges of globalisation, including a reform of the preconditions for receiving support; stresses that the EGF must become a more proactive tool aimed at preparing workers and companies to fight the negative impacts of globalisation; notes that smaller enterprises must have access to EGF funding; points out that the scope of the EGF should be widened to include other policy-induced adjustments and that it needs an adequate budget as well as an appropriate monitoring and evaluation mechanism;

24.  Recognises the positive steps undertaken by the Commission to increase transparency in free trade agreements (FTAs); calls on the Commission to meet scepticism towards globalisation by means of further strengthening transparency in trade agreements, improving the monitoring of EU rules and legislation, and increasing inclusiveness for citizens; calls on the Commission to conduct negotiations in full transparency, through constant dialogue with the European Parliament, national parliaments, social partners and civil society; calls on the Council to inform and involve national parliaments and civil society before the approval of negotiating mandates and during negotiations; regrets that the Council decided, in its 22 May conclusions, to maintain the status quo by deciding to publish the negotiating directives of EU FTAs on a case by case basis; calls on the Council to make all negotiating mandates public;

25.  Stresses the need for more global governance and rules in order to better harness globalisation; underlines the importance of supportive domestic policies to boost the EU’s competitiveness and resilience;

26.  Points out that EU agri-food products meet the highest standards in the world; asks the Commission to ensure that imported agricultural products meet EU standards and to strengthen checks on imported agri-food products at their place of origin and upon their arrival in the EU;

27.  Recalls the importance of efficient implementation of trade agreements concluded in order to ensure that our farmers can benefit to the full extent from the export opportunities provided by these agreements, such as the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA);

28.  Highlights the need to develop new trade rules and regulations at a global level in order to regulate and harmonise production, social and environmental standards in the agri-food sector;

29.  Welcomes the EU trade agreement with Japan, the EU’s fourth biggest agriculture export market, which will provide good export opportunities for many EU agri-products, such as dairy products;

30.  Stresses the importance, firstly, of including effective and readily available bilateral safeguard clauses allowing the temporary suspension of preferences if, as a result of the entry into force of the trade agreement, an increase in imports were to seriously damage – or risked seriously damaging – sensitive sectors and, secondly, of revising the existing multilateral safeguard mechanisms set out in Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 (Single CMO Regulation)(12), which should play a preventive role for sensitive sectors on the basis of reference volume and price thresholds allowing the automatic triggering with suspensive effect of the safeguard mechanisms where these thresholds have been reached;

31.  Highlights the strategic importance for the EU of maintaining a high level of food self-sufficiency; takes the view that the globalisation of trade should not jeopardise the viability of EU agri-food producers, since in the long term this could lead to the kind of external dependence already seen in the energy sector;

32.  Notes that the Commission reflection paper on harnessing trade is the first such paper to mention the importance of enhancing animal welfare standards through the EU trade and investment agenda; welcomes the willingness expressed by the Commission to work towards enhanced global governance in the field; calls on the Commission to expressly include animal welfare in its next trade policy strategy and to use the review clauses in existing FTAs to further improve animal welfare provisions; calls on the Commission to ensure trade preferences are conditional upon compliance with EU animal welfare standards, guaranteeing a more level playing field and respecting the wishes of most EU citizens; calls on the Commission to recognise the important role higher animal welfare standards can play in achieving several SDGs, notably on health in connection with antimicrobial resistance, and on climate change;

33.  Stresses that culture and education, including lifelong learning, are common goods, that access to culture and education is a human right and that culture and education can therefore not be considered or managed in the same way as a discretionary good or service, but rather as commons to preserve and continually improve; calls, therefore, for cultural, audiovisual and educational services, including those provided online, to be clearly excluded in trade agreements between the Union and third countries, such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States;

34.  Insists therefore on the key role played by the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions among international trade treaties, which must take into account and respect the relevant provisions thereof;

35.  Considers that it is essential to balance trade negotiations concerning copyrights in order to ensure that they are not negotiated down to the lowest common denominator but aim to secure the best possible rules for protecting cultural heritage, promoting cultural diversity and ensuring an income for those working in culture and the media, that they favour and enhance creativity, the dissemination of knowledge and content as well as users’ rights in the digital age, and that they constitute an open, rules-based trade environment, which is essential for the European Union’s cultural and creative industries to prosper;

36.  Reiterates its call for the EU to exercise its right to adopt or maintain measures (in particular of a regulatory and/or financial nature), including a legally binding general clause with respect to the protection and promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity, cultural heritage, freedom of expression, media pluralism and media freedom, irrespective of the technology or distribution platform used, in trade negotiations with third countries;

37.  Recognises data protection as a fundamental right in the European Union; calls for high standards of data protection in trade agreements to be guaranteed through a so‑called mutual adequacy decision between the European Union and non-EU countries;

38.  Stresses the importance of further promoting the European Union’s schemes of geographical indications and traditional specialities and of continuing to conclude the relevant bilateral agreements with third countries;

39.  Welcomes the Council’s recent mandate given to the Commission to negotiate, on behalf of the European Union, a Convention establishing a multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputes (MIC) in order to address the limitations of the existing Investor-State Dispute Settlement system; notes that the MIC will serve as a permanent body to settle investment disputes and will represent a more transparent, coherent and fair system, which will be extremely beneficial for investors; further welcomes, in this context, the fact that the Council has also decided to make the negotiation directives publicly available, which was a longstanding request by Parliament in its efforts to push for more transparency in the field of international negotiations;

Europe’s external response

40.  Calls on the Commission to make the SDGs and the Paris Agreement the guiding principles of EU trade policy; notes that in order to do so, reforms that were mentioned in the ‘Trade for all’ strategy are not sufficient; calls on the Commission to consider sustainability as an overarching principle for all trade agreements, including through sustainability-related obligations in every chapter, and to include a specific chapter which contributes to supporting and promoting international conventions on social, labour and human rights, and multilateral environmental agreements; notes that the application of these binding and enforceable provisions must be appropriately monitored in order to launch government consultation procedures and trigger the special dispute resolution mechanisms, if needed, as established within the framework of Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapter; calls on the Council and the Commission to be more ambitious when negotiating with industrialised partner countries regarding the ILO conventions to be referenced in the agreement;

41.  Calls on the Commission to include solid and comprehensive sustainable development chapters in FTAs in order to support international trade; welcomes the Commission’s 15-point plan to make EU trade and sustainable development chapters more effective;

42.  Notes the importance of a balanced and progressive trade policy in meeting the challenges of globalisation through balanced FTAs already concluded or still under negotiation, for example with Canada, Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and Mexico;

43.  Asks the Commission to pursue an ambitious trade policy and maintain an open investment environment; adds that the ratification of concluded and signed trade agreements should take place swiftly in order to uphold commitments to our partners;

44.  Calls on the Commission to include rules relating to digital trade in EU FTAs, including cross-border data flows, in order to demonstrate that trade in digital goods and services can bring real benefit to businesses and consumers;

45.  Congratulates the Commission for its decision to establish the new EU Fair and Ethical Trade City Award;

46.  Calls on the Commission to assess how distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) and blockchain can be used to enhance international trade, and address issues such as transparency and flexibility, and tackle counterfeiting;

47.  Underlines that the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change provide the benchmarks against which to measure the contribution of EU trade policy to agreed global sustainable development goals; notes that impact assessments conducted before the start of negotiations must take the fulfilment of the SDGs into account; notes that national sustainability strategies and implementation plans for the Paris Agreement must be one of the essential points for impact assessments; points out that trade agreements and their possible impacts should respond to the demands of the SDGs; urges the Commission in its future reports on the implementation of free trade agreements to provide an evaluation, including data, of their impact on the fulfilment of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement; notes that if parts of an agreement hamper the fulfilment of the SDGs or the Paris Agreement, adjustments must be made;

48.  Notes that the Commission’s system on implementing policy coherence for development should be brought in line with SDG 17; points out that the reciprocal effects of policy areas such as trade, agriculture, external policy, fisheries, environment and tax must be evaluated coherently between civil society, the Commission and national parliaments; notes that breaches of sustainability provisions must be counterweighted by corrective measures; calls for a policy coherence for development (PCD) assessment, in line with the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty on trade-related legislative proposals; notes that responsible business conduct and the responsible management of global value chains are essential for achieving the SDGs and that the 2030 Agenda emphasises that there is an urgent need for an EU action plan on responsible business conduct that would foster policy coherence and consistency at EU level;

49.  Points out that the ratification and implementation of the ILO’s core labour standards must be a priority for the implementation of any FTA; notes that organised civil society and social partners should be included in the formative stages of agreements, the implementation phase and the monitoring phase after implementation via bilateral meetings with the negotiating partners; notes that an effective and workable dispute settlement mechanism should be put in place as well as effective monitoring bodies which involve civil society;

50.  Notes that the EU has regulated the supply chains of timber, fish and conflict minerals and that several Member States have developed due diligence frameworks in different sectors, showing the need to develop a broad framework in order to ensure a level playing field; asks the Commission therefore to meet the growing complexity of value chains and the increasing interdependence of producers with clear transparency and due diligence obligations for the whole supply chain, since the weak enforcement of existing labour laws and occupational safety standards in sourcing countries remains a pressing issue; calls on the Commission to build on existing EU legislation in the area of conflict minerals and timber as well as the recently published OECD Due Diligence Guidance on Responsible Business Conduct; notes that global value chains (GVCs) have also led some supplier firms to ignore labour laws, relocate outside the EU and engage workers in unsafe and unacceptable conditions; recalls that these practices create unfair competition for suppliers that are compliant with labour laws and international standards, and for governments that want to improve wages and living standards; stresses the importance of decent wage levels and decent standards of safety at work for a sustainable global trading system and new GVCs; calls on the Commission to study the impact of the rise of GVCs and to present concrete proposals to improve conditions within them and to work towards a multilateral and legally binding framework for corporate accountability and responsible business conduct with regard to decent work, environmental sustainability and respect for human rights, in close cooperation with the ILO and the OECD; recognises that for the EU to pursue such a binding framework in multilateral negotiations is preferable to unilaterally imposing major rules; calls for the EU and the Member States to show leadership and step up their engagement in deliberations at the UN regarding a binding treaty on business and human rights; calls on the Commission to commit, in accordance with the four strategic objectives of the ILO Decent Work Agenda, to respecting, promoting and realising international labour standards and the fundamental principles and rights of workers;

51.  Points out that active measures aiming to enhance opportunities for women to benefit from the opportunities provided by FTAs are necessary in order to reach the goal of gender equality; calls for trade agreements to include a specific chapter on trade and gender equality and women’s empowerment, providing for measures aimed at, inter alia, better work-family life balance and access to social and health services, to pursue the enhanced participation of enterprises led by women (particularly micro-enterprises and SMEs) in public procurement, to support the internationalisation of enterprises led by women and the participation of women in Mode 4 opportunities;

52.  Notes that, in view of attacks on the multilateral world economic order, it is vitally important to preserve this order, as any backsliding into protectionism would be damaging and would lead to trade war; notes that the multilateral order can only be upheld if it is reformed; is of the view that, in order to preserve this order, the UN 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change should be better integrated therein; calls on the Commission to actively engage in unblocking the appellate body of the WTO and asks the Commission to promote international cooperation on fighting unfair competition and protectionism, which are detrimental to both businesses and citizens; notes that open and fair trade that fulfils the SDGs and provides room for the needs of developing countries, as referenced in the ‘Trade for all’ strategy, should be the EU’s primary objective; notes that, since multilateral initiatives currently bear little chance of success, the EU should in the meantime strive for bilateral and plurilateral agreements, in which fair trade is one of the guiding principles, but considers that the current situation provides the EU with the opportunity to show strong leadership in reforming the multilateral trade order in a sustainable and viable manner;

53.  Notes that open, fair and sustainable trade is economically desirable and has vital political implications; notes that in light of the ‘America First’ policy, as well as the new Belt and Road Initiative, it is of vital strategic importance for the EU to use trade as an instrument for the promotion of democratic and sustainable development as well as to strengthen dialogue and technical assistance, especially in the states of the Eastern Partnership and with its African partners; points out that trade and investments in partner countries need to be interlinked with strategies for sustainable development; calls on the Commission to push for coherent implementation of the Association Agreements with the states of the Eastern Partnership; calls on the Commission to develop in the medium term a strategy with a view to building stable relations with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS); notes that in the implementation of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the African regions and states, trade is not the only important aspect but that interlinking them with the requirements of sustainable development in the African states is vital; asks the Commission to work on increasing the capacity of governments to incorporate issues linked to sustainable and inclusive economic development into their national trade strategies and programmes; recalls the importance for the EU of deepening its cooperation with international organisations such as the UN, ILO, OECD, and World Bank on trade matters, in view of the challenges of globalisation; deplores in this context the fact that the Union and most Member States have failed to reach the target of 0.7 % of GNI for the financing of development cooperation;

54.  Stresses that global trade governance should enable trade integration that creates real opportunities for sustainable development; points out, in this context, that the current special and differential treatment (SDT) architecture in the WTO is failing to deliver the expected results; stresses the need to make the SDT provisions more effective and operational for developing countries;

55.  Highlights the fact that trade agreements can negatively impact food security in developing countries; calls for the EU to protect local food production and prevent harmful effects of cheap imports, including in the remit of EPAs;

56.  Deplores the fact that at least 218 million children are exploited as child labour, mainly with the aim of reducing costs; calls for the EU to ensure that goods circulated in the EU under ethical certification schemes are free from forced and child labour, to guarantee the reliable use of the labels fair and ethical, and help consumers make informed choices;

57.  Notes that only one comprehensive EPA has been concluded until now; calls therefore for the EU to acknowledge the EPA-related difficulties encountered by developing countries in the post-Cotonou process; stresses, in particular, the need to conduct an in-depth analysis on their impact on African economies and their respective labour markets, and for the promotion of intra-regional trade in Africa;

58.  Deplores the fact that, each year, a sum exceeding the total annual ODA is drained out of Africa in the form of illicit financial flows; highlights the damaging impact of tax evasion on developing countries, which are deprived in this way of substantial amounts of public money that could be used, for example, not only to improve economic growth, environmental protection and public services but also to promote social cohesion; calls on the Commission, in negotiating trade agreements, to prioritise combating this serious problem, using all the tools at its disposal; insists on the inclusion of strong provisions to tackle tax evasion and avoidance in EU FTAs and preferential trade regimes;

59.  Reiterates its call to create effective tools to combat tax evasion and avoidance globally and to enhance cooperation on tax matters with developing countries, including mobilisation of domestic resources;

60.  Recalls the need to establish a UN intergovernmental body to engage on an equal footing with developing countries in the reform of global tax rules;

61.  Strongly supports the further mainstreaming of digital technologies and services in the EU’s development policy; calls on the Commission to increase investment in developing digital infrastructure in the Global South;

62.  Welcomes the EU’s external investment plan with the aim of fostering sustainable growth, investment and job creation within developing countries; calls for the current EIB external lending mandate to be expanded to increase its role in achieving sustainable development – through blending, co-financing of projects and local private sector development – with a focus on least-developed countries and fragile states;

63.  Welcomes the Commission’s ‘Aid for Trade’ updated 2017 strategy aimed at strengthening and modernising EU support to developing countries; calls for more efforts and increased EU financial commitment to Aid for Trade initiatives in order to help developing countries, especially LDCs, achieve prosperity through trade and investments, and to support their actions towards realising the SDGs;

°

°  °

64.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1)

Texts adopted P8_TA(2018)0230.

(2)

OJ C 101, 16.3.2018, p. 30.

(3)

Texts adopted P8_TA(2017)0488.

(4)

OJ C 337, 20.9.2018, p. 33..

(5)

OJ L 338, 19.12.2017, p 1.

(6)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0090.

(7)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0369.

(8)

OJ C 99E, 3.4.2012, p. 31.

(9)

OJ C 99E, 3.4.2012, p. 94.

(10)

OECD, C/MIN(2017)2.

(11)

Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1).

(12)

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 671.


OPINION of the Committee on Development (3.9.2018)

for the Committee on International Trade

on harnessing globalisation: trade aspects

(2018/2005(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion: Cristian Dan Preda

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Development calls on the Committee on International Trade, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Recalls that ODA is a unique and valuable resource in the global fight against poverty, inequality and marginalisation; stresses that while all sources of financing are important for sustainable development, aid can achieve things that other sources cannot; highlights the need to ensure that trade becomes an effective vehicle to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and that private sector action, if aligned with internationally agreed development effectiveness principles, can contribute to the realisation of inclusive and sustainable development and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda; underlines the need to rebalance trade and investment law with human rights law, notably in global supply chains;

2.   Stresses that, when acting in development, the private sector should play its part in contributing to the realisation of the 2030 Agenda and abide by shared principles and common values, such as the internationally agreed development effectiveness principles, namely ownership, alignment, harmonisation and accountability, and that development objectives should prevail; recalls the commitment in terms of transparency and respect for human rights put forward for the private sector under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises; in this regard, encourages the EU and its Member States, based on lessons learned from previous EU legislative initiatives, to draw up a coherent regulatory framework on mandatory human rights due diligence obligations for supply chains;

3.  Calls for the EU to ensure that its activities with developing countries, in the fields of both development and trade, are based on a balanced framework among equal partners, are aligned with the principle of policy coherence for development established in Article 208 TFEU, and are aimed at the promotion and protection of human rights; strongly encourages the EU to continue its work on operationalising its rights-based approach in all development activities;

4.  Warns against developing a double standard regarding the rights and obligations of corporations in investment and trade agreements; notes that reliance on voluntary measures to promote due diligence may be insufficient and that investors’ rights must be matched by obligations in terms of compliance with human rights, labour standards and environmental law; stresses, in a context in which the Commission has proposed creating a Multilateral Investment Court as a permanent body to enforce investor rights, the importance of addressing such imbalances, and calls for the EU to actively engage in constructive negotiations on the UN binding instrument on business and human rights in order to uphold the primacy of human rights;

5.  Reaffirms the need to fully implement the extraterritorial human rights obligations of EU Member States, as set out in the Maastricht Principles, building on the various instruments of the Council of Europe, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR);

6.  Underlines that trade is not an end in itself, but that an inclusive, rules-based, free and fair trade policy, if aligned with the SDGs, can contribute to poverty eradication, the primary objective of EU development cooperation policy, reducing inequalities, and the creation of decent jobs; calls for ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns; underlines the need for the EU’s trading partners in the developing world to ensure good governance and respect for the rule of law;

7.  Stresses that global trade governance should enable trade integration that creates real opportunities for sustainable development; points out, in this context, that the current special and differential treatment (SDT) architecture in the WTO is failing to deliver the expected results; stresses the need to make the SDT provisions more effective and operational for developing countries;

8.  Recalls the need to strengthen the principle of policy coherence for development, which requires that the objectives of development cooperation be taken into account in policies that are likely to affect developing countries; calls for the EU to systematically evaluate the impact of its trade and fiscal policies on developing countries and to ensure that all its investment and trade agreements include provisions for independent ex-ante and ex-post human rights impact assessments, enforceable due diligence requirements and effective accountability mechanisms;

9.  Highlights that trade agreements can negatively impact food security in developing countries; calls for the EU to protect local food production and prevent harmful effects of cheap imports, including in the remit of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs);

10.  Reiterates that the environmental consequences of trade policy are unevenly distributed; calls, therefore, for the EU to mainstream environmental sustainability, sustainable management of natural resources, land tenure rights and the effective consideration of local and indigenous communities in the EU’s trade policy;

11.  Notes that bilateral and regional free trade agreements (RTAs) can contain more stringent provisions than those adopted at WTO level, and that these provisions may place restrictions on national governments; in particular, notes with concern that the needs of developing countries to pursue policies necessary to promote their food security and rural development are not sufficiently taken into account in regional and bilateral FTAs, including EPAs with ACP countries, and that developing countries are often prevented from using the flexibilities afforded in the WTO agreements;

12.  Deplores the fact that at least 218 million children are exploited as child labour, mainly with the aim of reducing costs; calls for the EU to ensure that goods circulated in the EU under ethical certification schemes are free from forced and child labour, to guarantee the reliable use of the labels fair and ethical, and help consumers make informed choices;

13.  Highlights that the proliferation of bilateral and regional free trade agreements (RTAs) raises concerns as to the coherence of global governance of trade and undermine the central role of the WTO in setting global rules; against this background, reiterates the importance of the multilateral rules-based order, according to which all countries are represented equally, as the most effective way of achieving an inclusive global trading system; emphasises the importance of enforceable provisions on social, labour and environmental standards in trade agreements and welcomes the Commission’s commitment to include binding chapters on trade and sustainable development; stresses that these provisions should be enforced through effective monitoring mechanisms that allow individual to seek redress; calls for accompanying measures, including financial support, to be implemented in trade agreements concluded with developing countries in order to support their efforts in respecting and implementing internationally agreed social and environmental standards; reiterates its call for more transparency in the trade in natural resources;

14.  Recalls that Africa is still marginalised in the global context, and calls for the EU to support its ambitions of creating a genuine intra-African market and avoid taking steps which might hinder these ambitions; underlines in this regard the need to maximise the development and positive impact of migration and mobility;

15.  Calls for the EU to take into account the different level of development and capabilities of developing countries and to support African countries in strengthening their productive and transformation capacities in order to become less dependent on raw materials and simple processed products, enhancing their competitiveness and participation in global markets, and helping to create quality jobs, including, in particular, strengthening the role of women in the formal and informal economy; stresses the need for any trade agreement with developing countries to provide for sufficiently asymmetrical liberalisation schedules, protection for infant industries, development-supportive rules of origin and effective safeguard clauses;

16.  Supports the establishment of a continental free trade area in Africa; stresses that EPAs, if accompanied by appropriate structural measures and duly monitored, could be an important tool for promoting regional integration and sustainable development through trade; underlines the need to put the promotion of human rights and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda at their core; stresses the importance of engaging with partner countries to create ownership at government and civil society levels; insists, in this regard, on the paramount importance of respecting, as stated in SDG 17.15, partner countries’ right to regulate and take suitable decisions for their own national context and to respond to the demands of their populations, and the importance of these countries fulfilling their human rights obligations and other international commitments; emphasises that future ACP-EU relations must be based on a balanced framework among equal partners;

17.  Notes that only one comprehensive EPA has been concluded until now; calls therefore for the EU to acknowledge the EPA-related difficulties encountered by developing countries in the Post-Cotonou process; stresses, in particular, the need to conduct an in-depth analysis on their impact on African economies and their respective labour markets, and for the promotion of intra-regional trade in Africa;

18.  Deplores that, each year, a sum exceeding the total annual ODA is drained out of Africa in the form of illicit financial flows; highlights the damaging impact of tax evasion on developing countries, which are deprived in this way of substantial amounts of public money that could be used, for example, not only to improve economic growth, environmental protection and public services but also to promote social cohesion; calls on the Commission, in negotiating trade agreements, to prioritise combating this serious problem, using all the tools at its disposal; insists on the inclusion of strong provisions to tackle tax evasion and avoidance in EU FTAs and preferential trade regimes;

19.  Reiterates its call to create effective tools to combat tax evasion and avoidance globally and to enhance cooperation on tax matters with developing countries, including mobilisation of domestic resources;

20.  Recalls the need to establish a UN intergovernmental body to engage on an equal footing with developing countries in the reform of global tax rules;

21.  Recalls the effects that the EU`s common agricultural policy (CAP) has on developing countries; calls, in this regard, for the EU to ensure that the future CAP will surpass the problems related to the current export-oriented agricultural model by enhancing the EU’s internal markets and short food supply chains in a sustainable manner so that, on the one hand, it will not undermine developing country’s development and, on the other, it ensures resilience to external shocks;

22.  Stresses the importance of adapting trade policies to support national efforts to combat climate change in compliance with the Paris Agreement;

23.  Recalls that Article 8 TFEU states: ‘In all its activities, the Union shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality, between men and women’; notes with concern that difficulties remain in assessing the relationship between trade and gender due to a number of factors, including a lack of data; stresses the need to better understand the gender dynamics associated with trade agreements; insists that all EU trade agreements should promote gender equality and strive to reduce inequalities;

24.  Calls for transparency in trade agreements and for the full involvement of civil society of the partner countries concerned in the negotiations and implementation of future trade agreements;

25.  Strongly supports the further mainstreaming of digital technologies and services in the EU’s development policy; calls on the Commission to increase investment in developing digital infrastructure in the Global South;

26.  Welcomes the EU’s external investment plan with the aim of fostering sustainable growth, investment and job creation within developing countries; calls for the current EIB external lending mandate to be expanded to increase its role in achieving sustainable development – through blending, co-financing of projects and local private sector development – with a focus on least-developed countries and fragile states;

27.  Stresses that there are profound gaps in transparency and traceability, raising serious questions as to the integrity of many ethical auditing and certification schemes in supply chains;

28.  Welcomes the Commission’s ‘Aid for Trade’ updated 2017 strategy aimed at strengthening and modernising EU support to developing countries; calls for more efforts and increased EU financial commitment to Aid for Trade initiatives in order to help developing countries, especially LDCs, achieve prosperity through trade and investments, and to support their actions towards realising the SDGs.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

29.8.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

20

1

2

Members present for the final vote

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Ignazio Corrao, Mireille D’Ornano, Heidi Hautala, Maria Heubuch, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Stelios Kouloglou, Arne Lietz, Linda McAvan, Norbert Neuser, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, Elly Schlein, Mirja Vehkaperä, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Anna Záborská, Joachim Zeller, Željana Zovko

Substitutes present for the final vote

Frank Engel, Ádám Kósa, Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, Paul Rübig, Kathleen Van Brempt

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

20

+

ALDE

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Mirja Vehkaperä

EFDD

Ignazio Corrao, Mireille D’Ornano

GUE/NGL

Stelios Kouloglou, Lola Sánchez Caldentey

PPE

Teresa Jiménez‑Becerril Barrio, Ádám Kósa, Paul Rübig, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Joachim Zeller, Željana Zovko

S&D

Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, Arne Lietz, Linda McAvan, Norbert Neuser, Elly Schlein, Kathleen Van Brempt

VERTS/ALE

Heidi Hautala, Maria Heubuch

1

-

ENF

Jean‑Luc Schaffhauser

2

0

PPE

Frank Engel, Anna Záborská

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


OPINION of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (22.6.2018)

for the Committee on International Trade

on harnessing globalisation: trade aspects

(2018/2005(INI))

Rapporteur: Karin Kadenbach

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development calls on the Committee on International Trade, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Takes note of the Commission communication on a balanced and progressive trade policy to harness globalisation(1), but wishes it would go further in protecting EU farmers; is concerned about the lack of attention this communication gives to the unequal effects of globalisation, including from the perspective of the agricultural sector, which is suffering from unbalanced competition on both the EU and foreign markets, with several global players that have developed intensive, export-oriented and highly competitive farming systems, which does not guarantee a global level playing field in the agricultural sector;

2.  Acknowledges that the EU is the single largest exporter of agri-food products; notes, in this context, the double phenomenon that is the need to maintain the EU’s market orientation and compatibility with WTO rules, on the one hand, and the fact that specific agricultural sectors cannot withstand full trade liberalisation and unfettered competition with imports, on the other;

3.  Points out that the globalisation of trade brings benefits such as growth, better living standards and economic opportunities, but that the benefits are not always shared equally between countries or within countries;

4.  Recalls that the EU’s agricultural sector has great export potential, which should be supported by balanced trade agreements with third countries;

5.  Recalls that EU trade policy is not just about interests but also about values;

6.  Underlines that the trade and agricultural policies are intertwined, and that EU trade policy is a tool to promote the EU’s agricultural interests and can therefore contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the common agricultural policy (CAP);

7.  Highlights that trade and agricultural policies lie at the core of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); stresses that focusing on inclusive, free and fair trade policies and aligning trade with the SDGs can make a significant contribution to the eradication of poverty and hunger worldwide;

8.  Calls for the EU to systematically evaluate the impact of its trade policies on sustainable development objectives and for the establishment of an evaluation mechanism to assure policy coherence among all EU strategies and policies;

9.  Acknowledges, in this context, that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is a negotiating forum that sets trade rules and that the member countries themselves decide how far they want to go in removing trade barriers and distortions; recalls that in its bilateral agreements the EU can set trade conditions over and above the WTO safety net;

10.  Stresses that harnessing globalisation should involve both strengthening global discipline to prevent unfair competition and distortions of trade in agriculture, and preventing the exposure of sensitive EU agricultural sectors to competition from imports of products that are not subject to equivalent rules, costs and constraints as regards quality standards and food safety; emphasises that the EU promotes high animal welfare, environmental, fundamental labour, social rights, food safety and consumer protection standards, to name but a few; recalls that all imports into the EU should comply with EU food safety and animal welfare standards, in line with the European ‘farm to fork’ system;

11.  Stresses the need to set up an instrument that would make it possible to re-establish fairer conditions of competition and to take action against countries and undertakings practising unfair competition; takes the view that a more rigorous application of EU rules would also ensure that all undertakings that have a presence or are active in the EU and that infringe the rules are punished effectively;

12.  Points out that EU agri-food products meet the highest standards in the world; asks the Commission to ensure that imported agricultural products meet EU standards and to strengthen checks on imported agri-foods at their place of origin and upon their arrival in the EU;

13.  Calls for common product information and labelling measures and for the introduction of a mandatory country-of-origin labelling scheme;

14.  Highlights that trade agreements must be balanced, contain safeguards for sensitive EU agricultural sectors, promote fair competition, protect the EU’s geographical indications, and uphold its high environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards;

15.  Calls for the incorporation of the precautionary principle, as laid down in Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, into all trade agreements under negotiation and future trade agreements, to ensure a higher level of protection through preventative decision-making in the case of risk to human health or the environment whenever required and without restrictions from trade partners and the WTO;

16.  Recalls that the precautionary principle as laid down in the WTO agreement does not reflect the precautionary principle as practised in the EU; demands, therefore, that, in contrast to the WTO provisions in force, the adoption of precautionary measures be authorised in the case of legitimate suspicion without scientific proof (e.g. trade-restrictive measures such as placing bans on imports and rejecting market authorisation); calls, therefore, for the burden of scientific proof to fall instead on proponents/developers/producers/importers of substances/products considered harmful to human health or as environmental hazards, in particular with regard to lower sanitary and phytosanitary standards, hygiene problems at meat-production facilities and possible pesticide residues;

17.  Points out that trade agreements are a crucial element which could open up opportunities for the promotion of EU interests with respect to processed and unprocessed food products; points out, furthermore, that particular attention needs to be paid to increased transparency of trade negotiations, which also entail a significant risk for more sensitive EU agricultural sectors that are already crisis-hit or have been particularly exposed to price volatility and that must consequently be given special treatment, which should imply the exclusion of the products concerned where necessary and the use of WTO-compatible tools to ensure a level playing field between farmers in the EU and third countries;

18.  Urges the exercise of the utmost care when it comes to the liberalisation of market access in vulnerable agricultural sectors; calls for systematic impact assessments to be prepared by the Commission prior to the opening of negotiations, specifically to take these sensitivities into account and to set out specific strategies to ensure that the agricultural sector will not suffer; draws attention to the growing impact of external factors and speculation on the global agri-food commodities market; notes that for some agricultural sectors it is often the cumulative impact of a number of agreements, as opposed to one free trade deal, that has the ability to inflict damage on prices and production; calls on the Commission, therefore, to regularly update the information it has on the potential impact of increased competition on vulnerable agricultural sectors such as beef production, which are low-income sectors vulnerable to competition;

19.  Takes the view that, in the framework of trade agreements, a further opening-up of the EU market in sensitive agricultural sectors could have disastrous consequences for EU producers; reminds the Commission, therefore, that sacrificing the interests of EU agriculture and sensitive EU agricultural sectors in order to secure any trade agreement would be unacceptable;

20.  Recalls the importance of efficient implementation of trade agreements concluded in order to ensure that our farmers can benefit to the full extent from the export opportunities provided by these agreements, such as the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA);

21.  Highlights the need to develop new trade rules and regulations at a global level in order to regulate and harmonise production, social and environmental standards in the agri-food sector;

22.  Emphasises our responsibility towards developing countries; calls for indicators that drive fair and sustainable trade for poor communities and not just trade for its own sake; recalls that the SDGs must be integrated into trade policy at all levels to prevent the risk of damage to livelihoods by providing developing countries with real opportunities and to ensure that development cooperation, which also aims to strengthen agricultural production in these countries, will not be undermined by trade agreements;

23.  Expresses serious concern at the direction in which the ongoing free-trade negotiations with Mercosur are currently heading, which, according to leaked information, does not point to a fair and balanced agreement; notes that the Commission intends to speed up all ongoing negotiations; is of the opinion, however, that the main aim of the negotiations should be a balanced outcome for all agricultural sectors, not their swift conclusion; is concerned that the conclusion of the negotiations might result in major concessions in sectors such as beef, sugar, poultry, orange juice, rice and biofuels, which could challenge the viability of local production in many EU regions and particularly disadvantaged areas and create direct downward pressure on EU producer prices; recalls that the Commission’s 2016 report on the cumulative economic impact of future trade agreements on EU agriculture forecast a sharp fall in beef meat prices and falls in butter and sheep prices as a result of recently concluded and ongoing negotiations;

24.  Recalls that the Commission has removed 20 Brazilian plants from the list of establishments from which imports of meat and poultry products are currently authorised, as a result of deficiencies detected in the Brazilian control system and the blatant health, identification and traceability irregularities highlighted in this system by the various scandals of March 2017 in the beef and veal sectors and March 2018 in the poultry meat sector; calls on the Commission to remove poultry, beef and veal from the scope of the free trade negotiations with Mercosur until the Brazilian meat scandal has been properly screened and a 100 % guarantee of compliance of South American meat imports with EU rules has been provided;

25.  Points out that, in the light of the WTO crisis and growing US protectionism, the EU has the opportunity and need to become a creator of global solutions in international trade, owing, among other things, to its extensive experience in harmonising standards developed during the construction of the common market and in the process of integrating countries from the former socialist bloc into this market;

26.  Welcomes the EU trade agreement with Japan, the EU’s fourth biggest agriculture export market, which will provide good export opportunities for many EU agri-products, such as dairy products;

27.   Recalls the concerns raised in its two resolutions of 26 October 2017 on the negotiating mandates for trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand(2) and the emphasis placed by Parliament on the need to ‘[respect] the fact that there are a number of sensitive agricultural products which should be given appropriate treatment, for example, through tariff-rate quotas or allocated adequate transition periods, taking into proper consideration the cumulative impact of trade agreements on agriculture and potentially excluding from the scope of the negotiations the most sensitive sectors’; notes that the Commission intends to conclude negotiations with Australia and New Zealand by March 2019 and to conduct them ‘at an accelerated pace’, but highlights that the swift conclusion of negotiations must not be to the detriment of any sector, particularly the EU’s agricultural sector;

28.  Draws attention to its resolution of 3 May 2018 on the current situation and future prospects for the sheep and goat sectors in the EU, and in particular to paragraph 62 thereof, which urges the Commission to exercise caution in negotiating the new free trade agreements with New Zealand and Australia pending its analysis of the impact of Brexit on sheep and goat farming, especially as regards the future of the 287 000 tonnes carcass weight equivalent quota for sheep meat granted by the EU to New Zealand; bearing in mind that New Zealand and Australia have increased their shipments of fresh and chilled meat in recent years and reduced their traditional exports of frozen meat, which is heightening their impact on the EU market for fresh meat and triggering a decline in the prices paid to EU producers, and believes that the ongoing trade negotiations should be used as an opportunity to separate these items into distinct quotas;

29.  Stresses the importance, firstly, of including effective and readily available bilateral safeguard clauses allowing the temporary suspension of preferences if, as a result of the entry into force of the trade agreement, an increase in imports were to seriously damage – or risked seriously damaging – sensitive sectors and, secondly, of revising the existing multilateral safeguard mechanisms set out in Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 (Single CMO Regulation)(3), which should play a preventive role for sensitive sectors on the basis of reference volume and price thresholds allowing the automatic triggering with suspensive effect of the safeguard mechanisms where these thresholds have been reached;

30.  Recalls that the total number of farms in the EU fell by 26 % from 2005 to 2013; points out that agricultural production in some Member States now takes place in fewer, larger and more capital-intensive farms, and points out that this consolidation process is expected to continue, and has already had and will continue to have an impact on generational renewal, in particular in the context of access to land and maintaining farm viability;

31.   Stresses the importance of ongoing discussion and the need for strong coordination between Member States for the screening of foreign direct investment (FDI) on the EU market, especially in farmland and forest areas; draws attention to the need to prevent the excessive concentration of farmland and forests in foreign hands; recalls, in this respect, its resolution of 27 April 2017 on the state of play of farmland concentration in the EU(4), and calls on the Commission to clarify its guidelines on legal limits on Member States’ intervention in regulating land purchase issued in autumn 2017 and to supplement them with the introduction of additional good practices making land-grabbing much harder; believes that the Commission has not yet done everything it can to reduce land-grabbing effectively in the EU; stresses that, where relevant, trade agreements should also follow the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests;

32.  Highlights the strategic importance for the EU of maintaining a high level of food self-sufficiency; takes the view that the globalisation of trade should not jeopardise the viability of EU agri-food producers, since in the long term this could lead to the kind of external dependence already seen in the energy sector;

33.   Calls on the Commission to react strongly to US attacks against the WTO-compatible mechanisms of the CAP through the imposition of unjustified trade defence measures and to defend this policy, which is essential for our farmers and EU rural areas; recalls, in this respect, its resolution of 15 March 2018 on US measures on EU farm support under the CAP (in the context of Spanish olives)(5); stresses that the US decision, which calls into question the legitimacy of our CAP, is an attack on the efforts made by EU farmers over several decades to comply with international rules, and expresses concern at the possible proliferation of such measures against other recipients of payments under the CAP; recognises the importance of the WTO in ensuring the smooth flow of global trade at a time when protectionism is gaining ground;

34.   Draws attention to the growing impact of external factors on the situation of the EU agri-food sector and to the fact that trade barriers create challenges for EU farmers by limiting exports of agricultural products, while bearing in mind that, in the long term, the import and production structure in the export market changes; points out that EU agricultural products continue to be banned from the Russian market;

35.  Urges the Commission, for its part, to investigate possible trade-distorting US farm subsidies, for example in the case of aid to the almond sector;

36.  Calls for the EU to make proposals within the WTO that would promote transparency in industrial subsidies and limit the use of harmful subsidies in the agricultural sector;

37.  Expresses concern at the 40 % increase in imports of Indica rice from Cambodia since 2009, as a consequence of the ‘Everything but Arms’ duty-free import regime, and at the intention to grant a duty-free quota of 45 000 tonnes to Japonica rice producers in Mercosur member countries as part of the free trade agreement now being negotiated with that region; takes the view that the Commission should draw up a study on the impact that all existing trade concessions and those under negotiation, designed to favour imports of these products into the EU, will have on the EU’s rice sector, which is already showing signs of collapse in some regions;

38.  Welcomes the Commission’s initiative to create an advisory group on EU trade negotiations composed of representatives of a wide and balanced group of stakeholders; insists on the need for a strong representation of EU farming organisations, including small-scale, medium-scale and subsistence farmers, in such a group, given the major impact of the majority of the negotiations in question on the agricultural sector;

39.  Expresses concern about the results of Brexit on the agricultural sector and calls on the Commission to take account of the ongoing Brexit negotiations and the impact of Brexit on the EU’s agricultural sector when implementing its intensive trade agenda;

40.  Warns of the danger of a serious imbalance in the agricultural provisions of trade agreements, to the detriment of the EU, and against the trend of using agriculture as a bargaining chip to secure increased access to third-country markets for industrial products and services; warns that the agricultural sector itself is given very little information until after the deals have already been made; notes the Commission proposal for countermeasures in response to the US imposition of duties on EU steel and aluminium; notes that these measures should not have a negative impact on EU farmers;

41.  Calls on the Commission to keep a public register of all meetings held with interest groups and lobbyists regarding the negotiation of free trade agreements;

42.  Asks the Commission to ensure that advisory group recommendations are binding and enforceable;

43.  Welcomes the fact that the Commission will now publish its recommendations for negotiating directives for trade agreements and automatically transmit them to national parliaments, while also making them available to the public.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

20.6.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

33

2

9

Members present for the final vote

John Stuart Agnew, Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, Eric Andrieu, Richard Ashworth, José Bové, Daniel Buda, Nicola Caputo, Matt Carthy, Michel Dantin, Paolo De Castro, Albert Deß, Diane Dodds, Jørn Dohrmann, Herbert Dorfmann, Norbert Erdős, Luke Ming Flanagan, Karine Gloanec Maurin, Beata Gosiewska, Martin Häusling, Esther Herranz García, Jan Huitema, Peter Jahr, Ivan Jakovčić, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Norbert Lins, Philippe Loiseau, Mairead McGuinness, Giulia Moi, Ulrike Müller, Maria Noichl, Marijana Petir, Bronis Ropė, Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez, Czesław Adam Siekierski, Marc Tarabella, Maria Gabriela Zoană, Marco Zullo

Substitutes present for the final vote

Franc Bogovič, Karin Kadenbach, Elsi Katainen, Anthea McIntyre, Momchil Nekov, Miguel Viegas

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Krzysztof Hetman

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

33

+

ECR

Jørn Dohrmann, Beata Gosiewska, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Anthea McIntyre

EFDD

Marco Zullo

ENF

Philippe Loiseau

GUE/NGL

Matt Carthy, Luke Ming Flanagan, Miguel Viegas

NI

Dianne Dodds

PPE

Richard Ashworth, Franc Bogovič, Daniel Buda, Michel Dantin, Albert Deß, Norbert Erdős, Esther Herranz García, Krzysztof Hetman, Peter Jahr, Norbert Lins, Mairead McGuinness, Marijana Petir, Czesław Adam Siekierski

S&D

Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, Eric Andrieu, Nicola Caputo, Paolo De Castro, Karine Gloanec Maurin, Karin Kadenbach, Momchil Nekov, Maria Noichl, Marc Tarabella, Maria Gabriela Zoană

2

-

EFDD

John Stuart Agnew

GUE/NGL

Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez

9

0

ALDE

Jan Huitema, Ivan Jakovčić, Elsi Katainen, Ulrike Müller

EFDD

Giulia Moi

PPE

Herbert Dorfmann

VERTS/ALE

José Bové, Martin Häusling, Bronis Ropė

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

COM(2017)0492.

(2)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0419 and P8_TA(2017)0420 respectively.

(3)

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 671.

(4)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0197.

(5)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0091.


OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education (26.6.2018)

for the Committee on International Trade

on harnessing globalisation: trade aspects

(2018/2005(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion: Francis Zammit Dimech

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Culture and Education calls on the Committee on International Trade, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

–  having regard to Articles 167 and 207 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 10 May 2007 on a European agenda for culture in a globalising world (COM(2007)0242) and the Council resolution of 16 November 2007 on a European Agenda for Culture(1),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 26 September 2012 entitled ‘Promoting cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs in the EU’ (COM(2012)0537),

–  having regard to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects,

–  having regard to Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the right to participate in cultural life,

–  having regard to Directive 2012/28/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on certain permitted uses of orphan works(2),

–  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the European External Action Service entitled ‘Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations’ (JOIN(2016)0029),

–  having regard to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which has been in force since 25 April 2018(3),

–  having regard to Articles 10 and 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union of 2010,

A.  whereas the EU has the right to adopt policies on trade in cultural and audiovisual services with the aim of protecting and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions as well as cultural heritage, and contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 on quality education; whereas these other provisions include the common commercial policy, as defined in Article 207 of the TFEU;

B.  whereas Article 3(3) TEU states that the EU must respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity and ensure that Europe’s cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced;

C.  whereas the UN Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions calls for bilateral, regional and international cooperation to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions, as well as to encourage intercultural dialogue with a view to building bridges among peoples;

D.  whereas the EU must take responsibility for modernising its European Agenda for Culture in a Globalising World, which includes providing a precise definition of media services and a clear framework for the media in public institutions and private undertakings in Europe;

E.  whereas the free flow of information, including access to European news channels, can improve governance in the developing world;

F.  whereas the EU Union must further develop intellectual property rights to cover the legal exploitation of orphan works in museums, archives, libraries and other research facilities which safeguard cultural heritage;

G.  whereas Europe has a rich variety of traditions and strong cultural and creative industries, small and medium-sized enterprises and different systems of public media bodies and public film funding, and whereas the promotion of cultural diversity, access to culture and democratic dialogue must remain a guiding principle, in accordance with the EU international trade approach;

H.  whereas, in the context of globalisation, international cooperation and exchange, a broad definition of culture is needed to include new hybrid forms of cultural expression as well as tangible and intangible cultural heritage, including indigenous and traditional art practices, in order to reflect the fluid and evolving nature of culture;

I.  whereas the cultural and creative industries contribute to the creation of decent jobs and to economic prosperity and account for approximately 2.6 % of the EU’s GDP, with a higher growth rate than the rest of the economy and representing one of the most resilient sectors during the financial crisis; whereas the development of trade in cultural and creative industry goods and services will constitute an important driver of economic sustainable growth and job creation in Europe;

J.  whereas the Data Protection Regulation lays down high standards of personal data processing, which require a certain level of responsibility on the part of platforms and streaming services in the regulation of international trade;

K.  whereas the EU has a surplus in trade in cultural goods and cultural services with the rest of the world;

L.  whereas the EU has a deficit with the rest of the world in trade in audiovisual and related services;

M.  whereas cultural and linguistic diversity is one of the EU’s core values and forms part of its cultural diplomacy policies;

N.  whereas innovation and creativity are needed to ensure a more sustainable development of cities, regions and societies as a whole, and are key to providing solutions to the societal challenges our societies face today;

O.  whereas the protection of personal data and the right to privacy are fundamental rights and are therefore non-negotiable in any trade agreements;

P.  whereas the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 also includes a commitment to combating illicit trade in cultural goods;

Q.  whereas culture is a driver for innovation and behavioural change through the creation of new lifestyles and sustainable development paradigms, and enables community-based and grassroots approaches which are necessary for a local understanding of globalisation and sustainable development, therefore contributing to and facilitating the achievement of many existing Sustainable Development Goals;

R.  whereas the harnessing of globalisation in trade aspects concerning cultural goods implies strict compliance with all international conventions on the protection of the cultural heritage, in particular the provisions of the 1954 Hague Convention, the 1970 UNESCO Convention and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention;

S.  whereas crafts and the production of artworks are particularly key to local development;

T.  whereas intercultural dialogue fosters respect and mutual understanding, and encourages fairer social and economic exchanges, including trade, helping to develop practices that promote the interests of all parties in a more balanced and respectful way and to fight unfair practices such as abusive clauses and imposed unilateral conditionalities;

1.  Stresses that culture and education, including lifelong learning, are common goods, that access to culture and education is a human right and that culture and education can therefore not be considered or managed in the same way as a discretionary good or service, but rather as commons to preserve and continually improve; calls, therefore, for cultural, audiovisual and educational services, including those provided online, to be clearly excluded in trade agreements between the Union and third countries, such as TTIP;

2.  Insists therefore on the key role played by the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions among international trade treaties, which must take into account and respect the relevant provisions thereof;

3.  Stresses that globalisation constitutes an opportunity for the European Union’s cultural and creative industries through the improved access to European culture that it affords the rest of the world and the creation of a global pool of talent;

4.  Considers that it is essential to balance trade negotiations concerning copyrights in order to ensure that they are not negotiated down to the lowest common denominator but aim to secure the best possible rules for protecting cultural heritage, promoting cultural diversity and ensuring an income for those working in culture and the media, that they favour and enhance creativity, the dissemination of knowledge and content as well as users’ rights in the digital age, and that they constitute an open, rules-based trade environment, which is essential for the European Union’s cultural and creative industries to prosper;

5.  Reiterates its call for the EU to exercise its right to adopt or maintain measures (in particular of a regulatory and/or financial nature), including a legally binding general clause with respect to the protection and promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity, cultural heritage, freedom of expression, media pluralism and media freedom, irrespective of the technology or distribution platform used, in trade negotiations with third countries;

6.  Calls on the Commission to promote access to European information services in future trade negotiations;

7.  Considers that cultural and educational exchanges between the EU and its partners contribute to mutual sustainable development, growth, social cohesion, democracy, economic prosperity and the creation of decent jobs, in line with the International Labour Organisation’s Decent Work Agenda, including in the cooperative sector;

8.  Is of the opinion that, in a globalised world, editorial responsibility in media services and online platforms should be a fundamental tool in the fight against fake news and hate speech and that fair competition in advertising must be achieved in international trade agreements;

9.  Recalls that culture and education policies, based on democratic and shared values, as well as access to cultural heritage, are key to ensuring social cohesion, solidarity, active participation of citizens, resilience and fair distribution of wealth and competitiveness, and can provide citizens with the knowledge and social and transferable skills, such as intercultural skills, entrepreneurship, problem solving, creativity and critical thinking, required to address globalisation; encourages the strengthening of the quality networks of universities, schools and museums fostering mutual learning and recognition of academic qualifications and the promotion of global and comprehensive citizenship;

10.  Calls for the mainstreaming of education for sustainability, fair trade and ecological citizenship across disciplines, in particular in entrepreneurship learning, including social entrepreneurship, and digital literacy and skills;

11.  Asks the Commission and the Member States to promote and develop tailor-made, inclusive and high-quality mobility, education, cultural and linguistic exchange, and scientific cooperation schemes to enable international collaboration and knowledge exchange, while also broadening STEM to STEAM; asks the Commission and the Member States to promote further education and training together with funding for research as the tool through which globalisation can work more effectively and the best means to remove barriers;

12.  Recalls the specific role of culture in external relations and in development policies, in particular for conflict prevention and resolution, peace-building and empowerment of local populations; considers, therefore, that an ambitious and sound cultural strategy, including cultural diplomacy, is needed to achieve a new consensus on development;

13.  Encourages the Commission and the Member States to develop existing EU structures for future cultural diplomacy actions and to carry forward concrete EU initiatives and existing programmes in line with the principles of solidarity and sustainability that aim to reduce poverty and promote international development;

14.  Recalls that sport is a highly globalised economic activity but also a social tool for inclusion, empowerment and individual and collective development; recalls, therefore, the need to ensure high standards of ethics and transparency in the governance of international trade and economic activity in the sports sector;

15.  Recalls the need to ensure transparency and democracy in trade agreements and decision-making processes, and encourages participation in decision-making processes by citizens whose working conditions, environments, health and well-being will be affected.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

19.6.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Dominique Bilde, Andrea Bocskor, Silvia Costa, Angel Dzhambazki, Jill Evans, María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Petra Kammerevert, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Curzio Maltese, Rupert Matthews, Stefano Maullu, Luigi Morgano, Momchil Nekov, Michaela Šojdrová, Yana Toom, Julie Ward, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Milan Zver, Krystyna Łybacka

Substitutes present for the final vote

Marlene Mizzi, Liliana Rodrigues, Algirdas Saudargas, Remo Sernagiotto, Francis Zammit Dimech

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

25

+

ALDE

María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Yana Toom

ECR

Angel Dzhambazki, Rupert Matthews, Remo Sernagiotto

ENF

Dominique Bilde

GUE/NGL

Curzio Maltese

PPE

Andrea Bocskor, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Stefano Maullu, Algirdas Saudargas, Michaela Šojdrová, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Francis Zammit Dimech, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Milan Zver

S&D

Silvia Costa, Petra Kammerevert, Krystyna Łybacka, Marlene Mizzi, Luigi Morgano, Momchil Nekov, Liliana Rodrigues, Julie Ward

VERTS/ALE

Jill Evans

0

-

 

 

0

0

 

 

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

OJ C 287, 29.11.2007, p. 1.

(2)

OJ L 299, 27.10.2012, p. 5.

(3)

Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1).


OPINION of the Committee on Legal Affairs (5.9.2018)

for the Committee on International Trade

on harnessing globalisation: trade aspects

(2018/2005(INI))

Rapporteur: Gilles Lebreton

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Legal Affairs calls on the Committee on International Trade, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Welcomes the reflection paper entitled ‘Harnessing globalisation’ and its focus on easing access to the positive effects of globalisation while pointing out the need to counter the negative effects;

2.  Believes that globalisation implies many advantages for businesses and citizens; acknowledges at the same time that globalisation also gives rise to concerns, which need to be addressed by the European Union;

3.  Notes that strengthening the EU’s internal market, as well as fairly and cohesively consolidating economic union, is vital, since a solid internal market is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of international strategies; points out in this context that, in order to ensure that the EU’s trade policy is geared towards the achievement of its overall economic and political objectives, in particular sustainable development, all EU institutions should ensure greater consistency between trade policy and other EU internal and external policies;

4.  Stresses that international trade plays an important role in how globalisation develops; points out that the legislator, in this context, should pay special attention to the following areas of jurisdiction among others, which are subject to international trade agreements: intellectual property rights, including copyright, trademarks and patents, data protection and enhanced transparency obligations, food safety requirements and environmental standards;

5.  Recalls and welcomes the European Union’s commitment to pursuing a transparent and responsible trade policy that exploits the positive aspects of globalisation, guarantees a fair distribution of the benefits of trade in accordance with its principles of solidarity and sustainability, and offers modern solutions for the realities of today’s economy in an increasingly technological world, enabling all individuals and businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to benefit from its advantages;

6.  Recognises data protection as a fundamental right in the European Union; calls for high standards of data protection in trade agreements to be guaranteed through a so‑called mutual adequacy decision between the European Union and non-EU countries;

7.  Stresses that, in order to shield citizens more effectively from large-scale globalisation, the EU institutions must provide an effective and ongoing response to challenges in respect of privacy, data protection and cybersecurity;

8.  Stresses the importance of further promoting the European Union’s schemes of geographical indications and traditional specialities and to continue concluding the relevant bilateral agreements with third countries;

9.  Recalls Opinion 2/15 of the Court of Justice of the European Union on the allocation of competences between the European Union and the Member States as regards the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Singapore, which concludes that the European Union enjoys exclusive competences on all trade‑related matters except for non-direct foreign investment, investor-state dispute resolution, covering all types of investments, and ancillary provisions regarding non-direct foreign investment; welcomes the Court’s opinion as it creates legal clarity for all future EU agreements with third countries, including with the United Kingdom after its departure from the Union;

10.  Welcomes Council’s recent mandate given to the Commission to negotiate, on behalf of the European Union, a Convention establishing a multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputes (MIC) in order to address the limitations of the existing Investor State Dispute Settlement system; notes that the MIC will serve as a permanent body to settle investment disputes and will represent a more transparent, coherent and fair system, which will be extremely beneficial for investors; further welcomes, in this context, the fact that the Council has also decided to make the negotiation directives publicly available, which was a longstanding request by Parliament in its efforts to push for more transparency in the field of international negotiations;

11.  Welcomes the Union’s initiatives to strike a fair balance between undistorted competition and protection measures, such as anti-dumping measures in relation to third country imports;

12.  Emphasises that high European standards in relation to social protection, working conditions, the environment, consumers and fundamental rights as the basis for the prosperity of the Union must be promoted through trade policy instruments deployed in accordance with sustainable development objectives; notes, in this context, the need for the European Union to ensure that international agreements are based on the above standards, so as to ensure that globalisation benefits all Europeans, and that its economic, social and environmental effects are beneficial for individuals and businesses both inside and outside of Europe;

13.  Stresses, in light of the above, the need to strengthen global governance and global rules in order to avoid trade wars;

14.  Calls on the Commission to pay closer attention to the internal policy measures adopted by certain EU partners that are likely to undermine the rule-based multilateral trading system, and to take the necessary countermeasures;

15.  Calls on the Commission, given that 45 % of Europeans consider globalisation to be a threat, to launch a campaign to promote its positive aspects, particularly in the regions where it is having a predominantly negative effect; calls, furthermore, on the Commission to identify and implement the most effective measures to support SMEs that are still suffering the effects of both the economic crisis and globalisation;

16.  Notes that free, fair and sustainable trade is economically desirable and has vital political implications; further notes that it is important for Europe to use trade as an instrument for the promotion of democratic and sustainable development across the world.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

3.9.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

11

6

2

Members present for the final vote

Marie-Christine Boutonnet, Jean-Marie Cavada, Mady Delvaux, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Laura Ferrara, Gilles Lebreton, Emil Radev, Julia Reda, Evelyn Regner, Pavel Svoboda, Francis Zammit Dimech, Tadeusz Zwiefka

Substitutes present for the final vote

Luis de Grandes Pascual, Pascal Durand, Angel Dzhambazki, Jytte Guteland, Jiří Maštálka, Angelika Niebler, Răzvan Popa

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

11

+

ECR

Angel Dzhambazki

EFDD

Laura Ferrara

ENF

Marie-Christine Boutonnet, Gilles Lebreton

PPE

Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Angelika Niebler, Emil Radev, Pavel Svoboda, Francis Zammit Dimech, Tadeusz Zwiefka

6

-

GUE/NGL

Jiří Maštálka

S&D

Mady Delvaux, Jytte Guteland, Răzvan Popa, Evelyn Regner

VERTS/ALE

Julia Reda

2

0

ALDE

Jean-Marie Cavada

VERTS/ALE

Pascal Durand

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

27.9.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

29

0

9

Members present for the final vote

Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Maria Arena, Tiziana Beghin, David Borrelli, Daniel Caspary, Salvatore Cicu, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, Christophe Hansen, Nadja Hirsch, France Jamet, Jude Kirton-Darling, Danilo Oscar Lancini, Bernd Lange, David Martin, Emmanuel Maurel, Emma McClarkin, Anne-Marie Mineur, Sorin Moisă, Franck Proust, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Tokia Saïfi, Marietje Schaake, Helmut Scholz, Joachim Schuster, Adam Szejnfeld, William (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Iuliu Winkler

Substitutes present for the final vote

Reimer Böge, Klaus Buchner, Dita Charanzová, Fernando Ruas, Pedro Silva Pereira, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Pascal Durand, Angel Dzhambazki, Czesław Hoc, Martin Schirdewan


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

29

+

ALDE

Dita Charanzová, Nadja Hirsch, Marietje Schaake, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells

ECR

Angel Dzhambazki, Czesław Hoc, Emma McClarkin

EFDD

William (The Earl of) Dartmouth

NI

David Borrelli

PPE

Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Reimer Böge, Daniel Caspary, Salvatore Cicu, Christophe Hansen, Sorin Moisă, Franck Proust, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Fernando Ruas, Tokia Saïfi, Adam Szejnfeld, Iuliu Winkler

S&D

Jude Kirton-Darling, Bernd Lange, David Martin, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Joachim Schuster, Pedro Silva Pereira

VERTS/ALE

Klaus Buchner, Pascal Durand

0

-

 

 

9

0

EFDD

Tiziana Beghin

ENF

France Jamet, Danilo Oscar Lancini

GUE/NGL

Anne-Marie Mineur, Martin Schirdewan, Helmut Scholz

S&D

Maria Arena, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, Emmanuel Maurel

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

Last updated: 15 October 2018Legal notice