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Parliamentary questions
PDF 44kWORD 22k
21 January 2019
P-000255-19
Question for written answer P-000255-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

 Subject:  Cambodian Prime Minister warns of ‘dead’ opposition if the EU withdraws its preferences and continued repression in Cambodia — follow up to Written Question E-004666/2018

The Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen, who has ruled for 34 years, has threatened to retaliate against the opposition if the EU(1) withdraws duty-free trading access because of human rights concerns in accordance with EU rules — in particular Article 19 of Regulation (EU) No 978/2012)(2).

The crackdown on any opposition or dissidents in Cambodia(3) is still prevalent, and the member of the Cambodian opposition, Kong Mas, has been charged with ‘incitement’(4).

Reports published in 2018 by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International are very clear. (5) (6)

EU efforts over the past 10 years have proved fruitless, whether these be engaging in ‘political dialogue’, ‘monitoring the situation’(7) or ‘raising concerns’ in a number of forums, such as in ASEMM or EU-ASEAN(8) meetings. As the EU probably knows, the situation has not improved and has, in fact, deteriorated.

1. Can the Commission confirm that it has formally initiated the procedure to temporarily suspend preferential tariffs, and could it provide a detailed implementation timetable?

2. Does it agree with HRW(9) and Amnesty International’s analyses(10) with regard to Cambodia’s rule of law and respect for democratic principles in 2017 and 2018, and that the situation is worse now than nine years ago (cf. the VP/HR’s answer(11))?

3. Under Article 19 of Regulation (EU) No 978/2012(12), the EU has the obligation to act and take action(13). I understand that it would rather not start by revising textiles tariffs, but what concrete sectors does it plan to target to hurt the Hun Sen regime’s wallet?

(1)https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cambodia-politics/cambodian-pm-warns-of-dead-opposition-if-eu-withdraws-preferences-idUSKCN1P8090
(2)http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2012/october/tradoc_150025.pdf
(3)https://www.hrw.org/report/2018/06/27/cambodias-dirty-dozen/long-history-rights-abuses-hun-sens-generals
(4)https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/cambodia-opposition-member-charged-pm-threat-sanctions-190119065456154.html
(5)https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/asia-and-the-pacific/cambodia/report-cambodia/
(6)https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2018/country-chapters/cambodia
(7)http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-004666-ASW_EN.html
(8)http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-004666-ASW_EN.html
(9)https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2018/country-chapters/cambodia
(10)https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/asia-and-the-pacific/cambodia/report-cambodia/
(11)http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2010-8108&language=EN
(12)http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2012/october/tradoc_150025.pdf
(13)http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-004666-ASW_EN.html

Last updated: 13 February 2019Legal notice