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Parliamentary questions
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26 November 2018
Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-005392/2018

The Commission has expressed continued support to and praised the Accord for its essential contribution to occupational health and safety in Bangladesh. At the same time, the Commission has raised its concern over the potential closure of the Accord's activities with the Bangladesh Government on several occasions, including at the last high-level meeting(1) of the Sustainability Compact in June 2018 by Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, in the context the 3+5 group(2) and in the latest report(3) on the implementation of the Compact. The Commission will continue to follow the matter closely.

As publicly reported in the biennial Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Report(4) of January 2018 to the European Parliament and the Council, the European Commission, together with the European External Action Service, has stepped up its engagement with Bangladesh under the Everything But Arms (EBA) arrangement.

As part of this enhanced engagement, the Commission has made clear to the Government of Bangladesh the link between trade preferences granted under EBA and respect for core human and labour rights principles.

Through this process, the Commission aims at putting pressure on the Government of Bangladesh to address labour issues in a forceful, comprehensive and coordinated manner through all relevant channels, including bilateral trade, political dialogues and dedicated monitoring missions.

The results of this enhanced engagement will feed into the Commission's considerations of whether the conditions of the GSP Regulation for a possible temporary withdrawal of EBA preferences are met.

(2)This group is comprised of three Secretaries of the Government of Bangladesh of Labour, Commerce and Foreign Affairs, as well as the ambassadors of the EU, the US, Canada, the United Kingdom — as the chair of the Private Sector Development (PSD) Working Group of the Local Consultative Group (LCG)1 — and one other EU Member State on a rotating basis, together with the ILO.
(4)COM(2018) 36 — http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2018/january/tradoc_156536.pdf

Last updated: 26 November 2018Legal notice