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 Full text 
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : O-000098/2017

Texts tabled :

O-000098/2017 (B8-0617/2017)

Debates :

PV 16/01/2018 - 15
CRE 16/01/2018 - 15

Votes :

Texts adopted :

Tuesday, 16 January 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

15. Trade and sustainable development chapters in EU trade agreements (debate)
Video of the speeches

  Jan Zahradil, on behalf of the ECR Group . – Mr President, I would like to say to Mr Lange that although we usually agree in the Committee on International Trade on many things, this will not be one of them: EU trade agreements should not be extended that far beyond the scope of what we can call ‘trade policy instruments’. I have the feeling that what we can see here is a clear tendency to call for sanctions in trade agreements we are negotiating with third countries, and we in the ECR Group oppose that approach. We worry that applying sanctions would have a counterproductive effect on how much our partners would be willing to commit in the scope of the TSD chapters. Again, there are definitely limits to which we can use trade policy for some achievements in the field of human rights or environmental protection.

There is no doubt that TSD chapters must be better implemented, but there are other instruments, other options, that need to be further explored. First of all, an introduction of measurable targets defining clear procedures on how to deal with complaints and how to launch government consultations. Thirdly, to recognise that each trade partnership is a different one and that civil society takes different forms in different trade partners. Last, but not least, we should also make better use of our own resources – our delegations, chambers of commerce contacts, Member States’ embassies and all diplomatic channels. We have to use our EU soft power through the instrument of TSD chapters, and the only way I see that this can be achieved through trade policy is on the basis of cooperation and continuous dialogue. We have to treat our trading parties as partners and not threaten them with sanctions.

Last updated: 3 April 2018Legal notice