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Parliamentary questions
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14 June 2019
Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001594/2019

Bangladesh is an important partner for the EU. The EU's cooperation with Bangladesh emphasises democracy, human rights, development, trade relations and labour rights.

The EU closely monitors the political situation in Bangladesh, including the last parliamentary elections. Unfortunately, violence marred the election day, and significant obstacles to a level playing field remained in place throughout the process. The EU has been pressing national authorities in Bangladesh to ensure a proper examination of alleged irregularities.

The EU is deploying a wide range of tools to support the development of Bangladesh. The 2014-20 multi-annual indicative programme allocated EUR 655 million to support human capital development, food and nutrition security, sustainable development, and democratic governance.

Bangladesh is the most important beneficiary of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) arrangement, with duty free imports from Bangladesh into the EU worth EUR 18 billion in 2018. The EBA contributes to the social development of the country. The EU also promotes responsible business practices i.a. through the Bangladesh Sustainability Compact.

The 9th EU-Bangladesh Joint Commission meeting will take place in 2019, and it will be preceded by the meetings of subgroups on human rights and governance, trade, and development. The EU is counting on Bangladesh's strong political support for the ambitious agendas of these meetings, as alignment with international human and labour rights needs to be swiftly achieved. In addition, the EU expects Bangladesh to improve its investment environment and reduce trade barriers, and, to this end, the EU is supporting a locally held business climate dialogue.

The EU continues to express its gratitude for Bangladesh's hospitality for the Rohingya refugees. Significant EU humanitarian and development assistance has been mobilised to support Bangladesh in providing basic life-saving assistance to refugees and support to host communities.

Last updated: 14 June 2019Legal notice