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Thursday, 9 October 2008 - Brussels Final edition
Suspension of the WTO Doha Round
P6_TA(2008)0471B6-0521, 0524, 0525 and 0529/2008

European Parliament resolution of 9 October 2008 on the suspension of the WTO Doha Round and the future of the Doha Development Agenda

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Doha Ministerial Declaration of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) of 14 November 2001,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on the Doha Development Agenda (DDA),

–   having regard to the Outcome Document of the 2008 Annual Session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO, adopted by consensus on 12 September 2008 in Geneva,

–   having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas the WTO Ministerial Meeting intended to close the Doha Development Round ('Doha Round') stalled at the end of July 2008,

B.   whereas negotiations broke down in Geneva in July 2008; whereas some progress was achieved on certain issues, while other issues important for the conclusion of full modalities were not dealt with in the outline agreement,

C.   whereas the interests of the developing countries, and in particular of the least developed countries (LDCs), as well as the commitment of all WTO members to the Doha Round, should remain at the heart of the negotiations,

D.   whereas a failure to conclude the Doha Round would add to the current global economic uncertainty and could challenge the credibility of the multilateral trading system, resulting in a shift towards bilateral and regional trade agreements,

1.  Expresses its serious disappointment and concern at the stalemate that occurred at the WTO Ministerial Meeting held in July 2008;

2.  Reiterates its full commitment to the multilateral approach to trade policy and to a WTO able to guarantee a comprehensive, ambitious and balanced outcome for international trade on the basis of full respect for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals;

3.  Is convinced that in the current context, characterised by economic and financial crisis, a successful conclusion of the Doha Round could be a stabilising factor;

4.  Believes that whatever happens in terms of progress on the DDA, the WTO, along with other international organisations, needs consistently and urgently to tackle new global challenges in which trade plays a part, such as food security, energy, Aid for Trade and climate change;

5.  Is fully aware of the difficulties of the principle of the single undertaking; acknowledges the progress made during the negotiations so far, which should provide an important and consolidated basis for pursuing the Doha Round at the next meeting and achieving a successful outcome;

6.  Calls on the EU and the USA, as well as the G20 as new major economic players, to assume their responsibilities in the current negotiations, to respect fully the spirit of the Doha Round, and to make every effort to reach a deal as rapidly as possible; emphasises once more the importance of a differentiation between developing and emerging countries;

7.  Calls on India and the USA to find a political solution on the issue of the conditions for the application of Special Safeguard Mechanisms (SSM) to ensure a fair balance between trade and food security concerns, in order to enable a continuation of DDA negotiations in Geneva on other outstanding issues;

8.  Calls on the developed and advanced developing countries to follow the EU Everything But Arms initiative, offering 100 % duty-free, quota-free market access for LDCs; emphasises also the importance of Aid for Trade;

9.  Believes that the needs of developing and, especially, the LDCs should be given priority in the DDA negotiations, with development being at the forefront of all considerations;

10.  Believes that the difficulties relating to the DDA highlight the need, once the Doha Round is over, to address urgently the question of reform of the WTO in order to make it more effective and transparent and improve its democratic legitimacy, accountability, transparency, inclusiveness and integration into the wider architecture of global governance; believes that parliamentarians should exercise even more vigorous and effective scrutiny in the area of international trade;

11.  Reiterates the need for targeted technical assistance and capacity-building to help developing countries to engage effectively in the DDA;

12.  Calls on the Commission and Council to establish an agreement in the spirit of the Lisbon Treaty to ensure the full participation of Parliament in the EU's international trade negotiations;

13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and the parliaments of the Member States and the Director General of the WTO.

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