Motion for a resolution - B6-0509/2007Motion for a resolution



further to Question for Oral Answer B6‑0383/2007
pursuant to Rule 108(5) of the Rules of Procedure
by Caroline Lucas and Pierre Jonckheer
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
on textiles

Procedure : 2007/2664(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  


European Parliament resolution on textiles

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Memorandum of Understanding concluded in June 2005 between China and the Commission, expiring on 1 January 2008,

–  having regard to the decision of the Commission and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on a system of joint import surveillance,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on this matter, and in particular that of 6 September 2005 on textiles and clothing after 2005[1],

–  having regard to Rule 108(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the WTO Agreement on textiles and clothing came to an end in 2005, at which point the last restrictions on trade in textiles and clothing inherited from the Multifibre Agreement lapsed,

B.  whereas the EU remains one of the leading exporters of textiles, while it has a negative trade balance on clothing, particularly due to enormous increases of imports from China,

C.  whereas in 2005 the Commission and China concluded a 'Memorandum of Understanding' imposing restrictions on Chinese imports of ten clothing categories for a transitional period, which will expire on 1 January 2008,

D.   whereas the European Union and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade decided on a system of joint import surveillance for the year 2008,

E.  whereas WTO members are authorised to adopt special safeguard measures in the form of quantitative restrictions on Chinese exports until the end of 2008, in the case of disruptive effects on their markets,

1.  Is aware that the lifting of the quota system is the result of a legally binding agreement when China joined the WTO, but recalls that the WTO accession agreement of China enables all WTO members, including the European Union, to apply safeguard measures against imports from China until the end of 2008, should this become necessary;

2.  Calls on the Commission to produce sound advice to the EU-based textile and clothing industry, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, with regard to their relative competitive advantages in a global clothing market, in order to orientate research and development;

3.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to actively support research, development and vocational training in the textile sector, particularly for small and medium-sized companies; considers it essential to take measures to support technological innovation;

4.  Calls on the Commission to investigate whether low clothing prices resulting from the end of the quota system effectively benefit the EU consumers or are merely absorbed by big retailers realizing undue profits by new possibilities of global sourcing;

5.  Expresses its concern on how the system of joint import surveillance will be set up; calls on the Commission to guarantee a proper implementation of the agreed system of double checking and continuously to evaluate its effectiveness in real time, ensuring a first evaluation already for the first quarter of 2008, so that disruptive effects of a surge of textile imports can duly and promptly be taken into account;

6.  Regrets that the system of double checking will only be implemented for the year 2008; calls on the Commission to guarantee that an effective surveillance system will remain in place for a longer period;

7.  Calls on the Commission to engage in consultations with the US on the issue of clothing imports from China, given that US import restrictions remain in place until the end of 2008, possibly leading to even more disruptive diversions of import flows towards the EU;

8.  Recalls that trade defence instruments (anti-dumping, anti subsidy and safeguard measures) are the legally available tool to protect the EU-based industry against unfair trade practices, and calls on the Commission to make active use of these instruments, in the case of the detection of unfair trade practices in the textile and clothing sector;

Security and consumer protection

9.  Urges the Commission to use its powers to ban unsafe products from the EU market, including in the case of textile and clothing;

10.  Calls on the Commission to guarantee that imported textile and clothing products entering the EU market are subject to the same security and consumer protection requirements as those textile and clothing products manufactured inside the EU;

11.  Is concerned about the decreasing security and consumer protection standards of the clothing sector, even within the European Union; calls on the Commission to evaluate the effects of unfettered global competition of the sector on EU-based manufacturing;

12.  Considers that binding rules on origin marking for textiles imported from third countries should be applied and, in this respect, calls on the Council to adopt the pending proposal for a regulation; considers, further, that labelling should be introduced with regard to product and processing methods (PPM) of textile and clothing products, and calls on the Commission to take appropriate action at WTO level;

Developing countries and EU Mediterranean partners;


13.  Calls on the Commission to support the establishment of a Euro-Mediterranean production area in the textile and clothing sector, taking advantage of the geographical proximity of the Mediterranean and European markets in order to create an internationally competitive area which can ensure that industrial output and employment can be maintained;


14.  Calls on the Commission to study the impact of the full liberalisation of the textile and clothing sector, particularly on the least developed countries which had been advised by the World Bank and other financial institutions to invest in the export clothing sector; is particularly concerned about the abolition of basic social and labour rights which some least developed countries apply in order to remain competitive; calls on the Commission to evaluate how Aid-for-Trade and similar programmes can help LDCs to engage in socially and environmentally sustainable sectoral programs; calls on the Commission to evaluate the usefulness of supply-side management tools for the clothing sector, in order to level global competition and to prevent from a race to the bottom of social and environmental standards;

15.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.