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Parliamentary questions
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7 December 2018
Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-004666/2018

On 30 July 2018, the European External Action Service (EEAS) issued a Spokesperson Statement which underlined that: ‘the lack of genuine electoral competition and the absence of an inclusive political process mean that the 29 July election is not representative of the democratic will of the Cambodian electorate, and therefore its outcome lacks credibility.’

The EU has stepped up its engagement with Cambodia in the context of the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade preferential scheme. On 5 October 2018, Commissioner Cecilia Malmström announced the launch of the procedure for a temporary withdrawal of the EBA preferences in accordance with the provisions of Article 19 of Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 (‘the GSP Regulation’)(1).

On 18 October 2018, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini met Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Brussels in the margins of the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit and reiterated the EU's concerns about the situation in Cambodia.

A discussion on the outcome of the EBA monitoring mission took place in the European Parliament in the context of the International Trade (INTA) Committee meeting on 10 October 2018. The Commission stands ready to further debrief the European Parliament in due time.

The GSP Regulation does not enable the Commission to impose sanctions such as visa restrictions and asset freeze on individuals.

In its Conclusions of 26 February 2018, the EU Foreign Affairs Council confirmed that, in view of recent developments, it may consider specific targeted measures if the situation does not improve. The Council will continue to monitor the situation with a view to possible further measures. Decisions on sanctions are to be taken by consensus — that is to say all 28 EU Member States — in the Council.

(1)Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 applying a scheme of generalised tariff preferences and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 732/2008, OJ L 303 of 31.12.2012.

Last updated: 7 December 2018Legal notice