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 Full text 
Tuesday, 26 November 2019 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Crisis of the WTO Appellate Body (debate)

  Christophe Hansen, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, the EPP group has called for this debate – and I would like to thank all the other groups, and especially our Chair, Bernd Lange, for their support – to sound the alarm over the future of the international rules-based trade order, one of the pillars of post—war peace and prosperity. Without the capstone of the Appellate Body, this pillar is now at risk of collapse, effectively hurtling us back to the times when the law of the jungle dominated international trade relations.

When, last Friday, the US blocked the appointment of two new judges to the Appellate Body for the 29th consecutive time in two years, they brought us one step closer to the brink. Let’s not forget that the WTO has benefited all members of the WTO – not least China and the US. It’s only fair to say, then, that all members carry the responsibility to support the system that has allowed global rivals to compete with a single rulebook, to the benefit of all.

It is our duty to hope for the best, yet prepare for the worst. We cannot but lend our unequivocal support to the Commission’s attempts to establish interim arrangements. A negotiated settlement within the context of the Walker Process will always be our priority, but better to be safe than sorry.

Last updated: 9 December 2019Legal notice