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Tuesday, 11 February 2020 - Strasbourg Revised edition

4. Conclusion of the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement - Conclusion of the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (Resolution) - EU-Viet Nam Investment Protection Agreement - EU-Viet Nam Investment Protection Agreement (Resolution) (debate)
Video of the speeches

  Die Präsidentin. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die gemeinsame Aussprache über

– die Empfehlung von Geert Bourgeois im Namen des Ausschusses für internationalen Handel zu dem Entwurf eines Beschlusses des Rates über den Abschluss des Freihandelsabkommens zwischen der Europäischen Union und der Sozialistischen Republik Vietnam (06050/2019 – C9-0023/2019 – 2018/0356(NLE)) (A9-0003/2020),

– den Bericht von Geert Bourgeois im Namen des Ausschusses für internationalen Handel mit einem nichtlegislativen Entschließungsantrag zu dem Entwurf eines Beschlusses des Rates über den Abschluss des Freihandelsabkommens zwischen der Europäischen Union und der Sozialistischen Republik Vietnam (2018/0356M(NLE)) (A9-0017/2020),

– die Empfehlung von Geert Bourgeois im Namen des Ausschusses für internationalen Handel zu dem Entwurf eines Beschlusses des Rates über den Abschluss im Namen der Union des Investitionsschutzabkommens zwischen der Europäischen Union und ihren Mitgliedstaaten einerseits und der Sozialistischen Republik Vietnam andererseits (05931/2019 – C9-0020/2019 – 2018/0358(NLE)) (A9-0002/2020) und

– den Bericht von Geert Bourgeois im Namen des Ausschusses für internationalen Handel mit einem nichtlegislativen Entschließungsantrag zu dem Entwurf eines Beschlusses des Rates über den Abschluss im Namen der Europäischen Union des Investitionsschutzabkommens zwischen der Europäischen Union und ihren Mitgliedstaaten einerseits und der Sozialistischen Republik Vietnam andererseits (2018/0358M(NLE)) (A9-0014/2020).


  Geert Bourgeois, Rapporteur. – Madam President, tomorrow we will vote on the EU—Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the Investment Protection Agreement. These are the first state—of—the art trade and investment agreements on which this newly-elected Parliament is asked to give its consent.

It’s a unique opportunity for this Parliament to underline the ambition of the EU to become a geopolitical actor and player: not as an empire that imposes rules, but as a global power that defends multilateralism, resists protectionism and reaches out to partners such as Vietnam. It is up to the European Union to promote rules-based trade and show by example that trade delivers, brings peoples together and raises standards worldwide on safety, labour, environment and human rights. It’s also a question of credibility. We need to show Vietnam and future trading partners that the EU is a credible partner that sticks to its commitment and that we are still able to negotiate, sign and conclude trade agreements.

Eight years after starting the negotiations with Vietnam, this Parliament has been given the opportunity to debate the most comprehensive trade deal between the EU and a middle—income country in its history. As such, this deal with Vietnam sets a new benchmark for Europe’s engagement with emerging economies. If we look at this trade agreement, it is of the utmost importance to stress, first of all, the economic value that will give a boost to the prosperity of both the EU and Vietnam. It represents a great opportunity for European exporters and investors. It will eliminate 99% of tariffs within seven years, and this will result in additional exports in both directions. This will clearly result in many tens of thousands of new and, on average, better-paid jobs through increased use of international standards. This deal will also cut non—trade barriers and reduce costs for our companies. We will gain better access to each other’s public markets, including for SMEs.

Vietnam has a vibrant economy of more than 90 million consumers, a growing middle class and a young, dynamic workforce. The country is open to the world and embraces modern standards. Vietnam was the first in the world, even before Canada, to accept the principle of a modern investment court system (ICS), a modern ICS proposal that has mostly been drafted by this very Parliament with independent judges, a code of conduct, protection of the right to regulate and facilitated access to the court for SMEs. This agreement thus brings new opportunities for companies, both big corporations and SMEs.

Vietnam is also the gateway to the entire Asian region. This agreement brings the long—term goal of an EU—Asian trade agreement from region to region a step closer, and this should be our objective. These agreements are also instruments to promote and protect European standards and values. Vietnam respects clear commitments to the ratification of two additional core International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions: its revised Labour Code, its improved labour and human rights situation and the implementation of the Paris climate agreement.

For all these reasons and the creation of prosperity by free and fair trade and the fact that the EU is taking responsibility to set the standards worldwide and taking the lead on rules—based trade in times of rising trade tensions, protectionism and unilateralism, I therefore ask for the consent of this House so that the peoples of the European Union and the people of Vietnam can further strengthen their ties in the future and so that we can allow free and fair trade to bring people closer together.



  Phil Hogan, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members of the European Parliament, the Free Trade Agreement and the Investment Protection Agreement with Vietnam are the most ambitious ever concluded with a developing country.

The agreements will further reinforce our already-strong trade and investment ties, and they will also provide an additional opportunity to strengthen the cooperation established under other EU instruments, for example on illegal logging or IUU (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated) fishing.

The agreements will strengthen our presence in Asia, following the ‘new generation agreements’ in force, such as those with Korea, Japan and Singapore. They will constitute an additional stepping-stone towards our engagement with the ASEAN region.

The benefits of the agreements are many: preferential access to a vibrant economy of almost 100 million people; removal of non-tariff barriers for our exporters, which they currently face, for example, on cars, on wines, and spirits; harmonised sanitary and phytosanitary rules allowing for more predictable procedures; and removing access barriers for EU products.

EU companies will have access for the first time to the Vietnamese public procurement market, and there will be protection of the European geographical indications such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, Champagne and Rioja wines. We will also have improved access to the Vietnamese market in services, such as finance, distribution, logistics or environmental services.

The Investment Protection Agreement, similar to agreements with Singapore and Canada, includes the modern and reformed investment protection framework with an investment court system for the resolution of investment disputes.

However, our agreements will be on trade and investment, and I’m aware that the European Parliament has put a strong emphasis on the trade and sustainable development chapter of the Vietnam Agreement. And I fully agree with this approach. It is encouraging to see the level of engagement by Vietnam in order to prepare for the implementation of their commitments, with important progress made even before the agreements are in force at all. The pressure that has been exerted by the European Union is bearing fruit, and I welcome this development.

On labour issues, Vietnam adopted a new labour code last November, which recognises the principle of freedom of association at enterprise level. The revised code also includes new provisions on collective bargaining in line with the ILO Fundamental Convention, which was recently ratified by Vietnam.

Vietnam has now ratified 6 out of the 8 ILO conventions, and it has a clear plan to ratify the outstanding conventions by 2021 and 2023. Work is also ongoing in Vietnam to eradicate child labour, with encouraging preliminary results unveiled recently by the ILO, which is a significant reduction of more than 40% since the last survey of 2012.

So these developments are remarkable. But nevertheless, the Commission will scrutinise implementation to ensure that Vietnam effectively pursues this ambitious labour reform agenda.

Vietnam has also started preparing the ground for the institutional structure that is foreseen under the Free Trade Agreement, including the involvement of independent civil society organisations, such as domestic advisory groups.

The human rights situation is certainly an area of concern in our relationship with Vietnam, but I remain convinced that constructive channels of communication, including the Annual Human Rights Dialogue, is the way to voice our concerns and address these shortcomings.

So Madam President, I firmly believe that these agreements will create the best platform for further engagement and constructive dialogue with Vietnam in all fields. On the other hand, our failure to ratify the deal would leave the European Union with fewer options to pursue a reform agenda in Vietnam and would undermine the credibility of the European Union as a reliable partner.


  Isabel Wiseler-Lima, rapporteure pour avis de la commission AFET. – Je vais voter pour ces deux accords avec le Viêt Nam, parce que je suis intimement convaincue qu’ils sont une chance tant pour le peuple vietnamien que pour les Européens.

Du point de vue des droits humains au Viêt Nam, bien sûr que nos réticences sont énormes, mais là aussi, je suis convaincue que nous devons profiter de l’ouverture que crée l’implantation d’entreprises et d’investissements européens soumis à des critères et obligations européens. L’isolation du Viêt Nam serait à mes yeux la pire des situations. Avec cet accord, le gouvernement vietnamien s’engage à respecter les droits fondamentaux et surtout, il accepte le suivi de l’application des règles par une commission conjointe des parlements européen et vietnamien. L’accord prévoit également, et c’est une grande victoire, que la Commission européenne instaure un mécanisme de plaintes indépendant en ce qui concerne les droits de l’homme. Enfin, le Viêt Nam a proposé que la commission des droits de l’homme du Parlement européen participe au dialogue Viêt Nam-Union européenne sur les droits de l’homme. Ceci est une première et permet au Parlement d’être présent à une table de négociations où d’habitude il ne siège pas. Profitons de toutes les ouvertures pour faire avancer les droits de l’homme.


  Tomas Tobé, rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on Development. – Madam President, free trade is one of the best tools to lift people out of poverty. History proves that with all clarity.

With this agreement, we ensure that Vietnam can go forward on a path of inclusive growth, and also with this Free Trade Agreement we set a very high standard as a comprehensive agreement with a developing country. And, as Chair of the Development Committee, I’m very pleased that this agreement has a very dedicated chapter also on sustainable development, and this needs to be effectively implemented.

I would also welcome the timetable from Vietnam on when to ratify the outstanding core ILO conventions, and I urge both parties to make full use of the provisions in the agreement in order to contribute to strengthening human rights in Vietnam and towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

I also urge the Commission to work closely with civil society to ensure that growth in Vietnam now also will strengthen environmental protection and labour rights. To conclude, the Committee on Development recommends that we give our consent to this agreement.


  Pietro Bartolo, relatore per parere della commissione per la pesca. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, l'accordo di libero scambio con il Vietnam prevede un capitolo che include l'importante commercio di prodotti ittici già esistenti tra i due partner. Assieme ai colleghi della commissione per la pesca abbiamo lavorato ad un parere che non si limitasse a un'accettazione passiva dell'accordo ma che potesse contribuire al dibattito parlamentare, alzando l'asticella e fissando priorità ben precise.

Il Vietnam ha senza dubbio compiuto sforzi significativi per allineare il proprio settore ittico ai nostri standard e ha dimostrato di volere continuare anche in futuro a lavorare per migliorare la situazione esistente. Al contempo non si possono negare le numerose lacune che ancora persistono, in particolar modo in materia di pesca illegale. Proprio per questo in commissione per la pesca abbiamo chiesto che la Commissione europea rimanga vigile e attenta per assicurarsi che il Vietnam continui negli sforzi già intrapresi e che al contempo utilizzi tutti i mezzi a sua disposizione, incluso il cartellino rosso nel caso il Vietnam non dovesse adempiere alle condizioni di sviluppo sostenibile concordate con l'Unione europea.


  Iuliu Winkler, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, honourable colleagues, distinguished Commissioner, the negotiations between the European Union and Vietnam started in 2012. They were first concluded in 2015, subsequently reopened and then finalised in June 2019.

These eight years has witnessed dramatic progress in Vietnamese society, economy, labour conditions, environmental protection and sustainability. One of the crucial ferments of these changes is the European Union. The perspective of enhancing EU—Vietnam cooperation by implementing the Free Trade Agreement and the Investment Protection Agreement gives positive motivation to the Vietnamese authorities.

Just recently we have received a work plan on domestic advisory groups, a work plan and implementation plan on the Labour Code and a positive answer to the establishment of a Joint Parliamentary Oversight Committee between the National Assembly of Vietnam and the European Parliament.

This House faces tomorrow a crucial choice: to grant or not to grant consent to the EU—Vietnam agreements. Postponement would be the 20th century choice. When we give homework to Vietnam and then send them home to do the work. Granting consent is the 21st century European choice, when we formulate our expectations and then we say to our Vietnamese partners: ‘let’s do it together’.

As the shadow rapporteur for the EPP Group, my appeal is to vote for consent tomorrow and then to work together – the EU and Vietnam – for a better, freer and more sustainable future.


  Bernd Lange, im Namen der S&D-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin! Willy Brandt hat vor fünfzig Jahren das Konzept „Wandel durch Annäherung“ entwickelt, um mit Ländern, die fundamental andere Auffassungen haben, trotzdem in den Dialog eintreten zu können und über eine Verbesserung der Situation für die Menschen vor Ort zu diskutieren. Das ist genau der richtige Weg, auch in der Beziehung zu Vietnam zu versuchen, über einen Dialog eine Verbesserung der Situation der Menschen vor Ort zu erreichen – gerade mit Vietnam, einem Land, mit dem wir viel Handel treiben. Ich bin überzeugt, dass viele von Ihnen, meine lieben Kolleginnen und Kollegen, Kleidungsstücke aus Vietnam tragen, Schuhe aus Vietnam tragen, alle Smartphones von Samsung kommen aus Vietnam, alle Tablets von Samsung kommen aus Vietnam. Und ich möchte, dass wir hier Regeln setzen, damit die Produktion in Ordnung ist, was die Standards anbetrifft, was den Einsatz von Chemikalien anbetrifft und vor allen Dingen, was die Arbeitnehmerrechte anbetrifft. Und Herr Kommissar, bei aller Wertschätzung: Diese Errungenschaften hat das Europäische Parlament durchgesetzt. In den letzten zwei Jahren haben wir intensiv verhandelt. Und ich bin stolz auf dieses Parlament, dass es die Möglichkeiten, die wir haben, genutzt hat, indem wir durchgesetzt haben, dass fundamentale ILO-Kernarbeitsnormen ratifiziert und umgesetzt werden, dass wir es hingekriegt haben, dass ein verbindlicher Umsetzungsplan, der von der ILO kontrolliert wird, von Vietnam auf den Tisch gelegt worden ist, dass wir es durchgesetzt haben, dass die Domestic Advisory Groups der zivilgesellschaftlichen Organisationen durch unabhängige zivilgesellschaftliche Organisationen besetzt werden, dass der Raum für die Zivilgesellschaft erweitert worden ist, dass wir wirklich eine Verbesserung auch der Menschenrechtssituation hingekriegt haben, dass der Unterausschuss für Menschenrechte des Europäischen Parlamentes erstmalig in den Menschenrechtsdialog integriert worden ist – das hat es bisher noch nie gegeben –, und dass wir auch eine Zusammenarbeit der Parlamente bei der Umsetzung des Abkommens durchgesetzt haben. Also insofern können wir als Parlament wirklich stolz sein, dass wir das erreicht haben.

Aber ich sage auch: Die Arbeit fängt jetzt an, weil wir weiter dafür streiten werden, dass durch das Abkommen die Situation der Menschen vor Ort verbessert wird. Also die Arbeit fängt an!


  Karin Karlsbro, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Madam President, honourable Commissioner, Members of Parliament, Europe stands strong for free trade. Tomorrow we can make history. These are the most ambitioned agreements that the EU has ever negotiated with a developing country. There will be an economic win-win for both parties.

The EU and Vietnam are already important trading partners. This trade will continue, with or without agreements. But with these agreements, our trade will become more equitable, more predictable and more sustainable for the environment, for the people and for the climate.

During the negotiation, Vietnam has improved workers’ rights; 6 out of 8 ILO conventions have been signed; child labour has been significantly reduced. We know that some voices have been raised wanting to postpone tomorrow’s vote, as the democratic development in Vietnam has not been enough, and yes, we wish that we could have seen much more progress when it comes to democracy and human rights. But we have to ask ourselves in this Chamber: do we want to have a better chance to promote democracy without the Agreement?

Let’s not make the reformists or the freedom fighters who want more EU presence disappointed. We should take every opportunity to use these agreements as platforms for freedom and for democracy, and during the last week under the Parliament’s scrutiny, some small positive signals have come.

Let us now vote in favour of these agreements, and let us use the monitoring time to promote democracy, to promote human rights in Vietnam together.


  Danilo Oscar Lancini, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, prima ancora di qualsiasi valutazione commerciale, dobbiamo ricordare che il Vietnam è uno Stato politicamente repressivo in cui il partito comunista ha il monopolio del potere e non ci sono media indipendenti. Nessun dissenso è tollerato, le critiche al governo sono punite con lunghe pene detentive, non vi sono sindacati liberi, i culti religiosi sono controllati dallo Stato. Molti degli impegni enunciati dalle autorità vietnamite sono formulati senza precise scadenze. Accontentarsi di dichiarazioni di intenti troppo generiche è un'imperdonabile ingenuità.

A livello ambientale è evidente il contrasto con i sacrifici che l'UE impone ai suoi paesi membri: in Vietnam il carbone è la principale risorsa per la produzione di energia elettrica, si prevede un contributo del carbone al mix energetico di oltre il 40 % e il completamento di circa 100 centrali a carbone entro il 2030. Mancano poi sia i progetti che un serio impegno finanziario per la depurazione delle acque industriali e di quelle del fiume Mekong, una minaccia per i mari e per la salubrità di quel riso vietnamita a cui si vorrebbe concedere l'accesso a dazio zero in Europa per un quantitativo di 80 000 tonnellate all'anno, con rischio di triangolazioni da paesi limitrofi come la Cambogia. Questo purtroppo è indice della scarsa sensibilità mostrata dalla Commissione verso un settore importante e sensibile come quello risicolo.

Resta pericolosamente in bilico la questione della tutela della proprietà intellettuale, oggi affidata in Vietnam ad una normativa farraginosa e per nulla efficace. Ciò potrebbe causare danni alle nostre aziende.

Abbiamo il dovere di non dimenticare queste considerazioni al momento del voto, affinché non vengano traditi quei valori che la nostra Europa proclama da sempre e che dovrebbe anche difendere invece di pensare solo al tornaconto economico.


  Saskia Bricmont, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Madame la Présidente, après avoir voté contre un report de l’accord hier, notre assemblée s’apprête à faire le premier grand écart depuis l’investiture de la Commission européenne: entre ses valeurs, ses principes, ses déclarations en matière de respect des droits humains – dont votre rapport, Madame, le rapport Wiseler-Lima sur les droits humains dans le monde, que nous votions pas plus tard que l’an dernier –, mais aussi le pacte vert, en ratifiant l’accord de libre-échange et d’investissement avec le Viêt Nam.

Le Viêt Nam s’est engagé dans une réforme de son code du travail, certes, et ratifiera les conventions de l’OIT, mais pour rendre effectives la liberté d’association et d’expression et l’émergence de syndicats indépendants, c’est une réforme du code pénal qui doit avoir lieu; elle est indispensable. Et c’est ce que nous avons demandé par des courriers adressés aux autorités vietnamiennes; nous avons demandé un report du processus de ratification pour y travailler ensemble avec le Viêt Nam, par le dialogue. Mais, Monsieur Lange, le Viêt Nam a opposé une véritable fin de non-recevoir à ces questions, à ces demandes.

Nous savons donc aujourd’hui que les réformes demandées n’auront pas lieu, notamment au niveau pénal, et nous serions pourtant prêts, en tant qu’assemblée parlementaire, à accepter cela, au nom de quoi? D’intérêts économiques. Mais lesquels, Monsieur Hogan, lesquels, Monsieur Bourgeois? Puisque le rapport, l’évaluation économique de la Commission européenne montrent que le déficit de notre balance commerciale va être encore aggravé par cet accord. Nous n’avons apparemment pas rencontré les mêmes secteurs économiques du bois, du textile, du riz, qui demandent, comme nous, un report de cet accord. Pire, les autorités vietnamiennes justifient l’arrestation de journalistes indépendants – pour ne pas le citer, M. Pham Chi Dung –, au nom des limites à la liberté de la presse. Un beau pied de nez pour notre assemblée qui, par la voix de son président, avait interpellé le Viêt Nam à ce propos. Un grand écart aussi avec le pacte vert. Effectivement, nous allons récompenser un pays qui pratique pêche et déforestation illégales en renforçant sans condition un accord de libre-échange et nos investissements sur place.

C’est sans parler aussi du conflit d’intérêts potentiel qui secoue ce dossier depuis le début, puisque nous avons continué nos travaux comme si de rien n’était. Chers collègues, ces dernières semaines, vous avez reçu comme moi les appels de centaines d’ONG, de citoyens, de syndicats qui, apparemment, n’ont pas votre oreille aujourd’hui. La demande de report est relayée de leur part aussi au motif de la dégradation ces dernières semaines, ces derniers mois, ces dernières années, de la situation des droits humains au Viêt Nam.

J’osais espérer, chers collègues libéraux socialistes, un revirement de votre part par rapport à la négociation que nous avons depuis quelques semaines. Force est de constater aujourd’hui que le pacte vert et les droits de l’homme ne sont pas encore en voie d’être respectés par notre assemblée.


  Jan Zahradil, za skupinu ECR. – Paní předsedající, po 8 letech vyjednávání a projednávání jsme skoro u cíle. Dovolte mi proto několik slov z pozice bývalého zpravodaje těchto smluv od začátku až do loňského podzimu.

Především bych rád zdůraznil, že tu smlouvu dojednala řádně Evropská komise podle zásad obchodní politiky EU a podle mandátu, který udělila Evropská rada. Myslím, že EU musí vyslat signál, že stojí na straně volného obchodu, že stojí na straně odstraňování obchodních překážek v době rostoucího protekcionismu a v době, kdy Spojené státy se stáhly z již dojednané obchodní dohody se zeměmi jihovýchodní Asie. Máme jedinečnou šanci toto vakuum vyplnit.

Žádná jiná dohoda s žádnou jinou zemí jihovýchodní Asie v tuto chvíli není na cestě, není v dohledu. Myslím, že Vietnam vyrůstá v geopolitickou mocnost, je to země s více než 90 miliony lidmi. Je to předsednická země ASEAN, je to nestálý člen Rady bezpečnosti OSN a je v politickém i v ekonomickém zájmu EU tuto dohodu mít. Pokud ji neuzavřeme, nevyhraje EU, vyhrají Spojené státy nebo Čína, ale my z toho rozhodně profitovat nebudeme.


  Emmanuel Maurel, au nom du groupe GUE/NGL. – Madame la Présidente, alors, est-ce qu’il faut approfondir un partenariat avec le Viêt Nam? Oui, nous sommes tous d’accord. Est-ce que ça passe nécessairement par un accord de libre-échange? Eh bien non, et c’est là que le débat intervient entre nous.

Vous, vous pensez – c’est un peu la pensée magique – qu’un accord de libre-échange, ça règle forcément tous les problèmes. Or non, ce n’est pas vrai. D’abord, je ne partage pas l’optimisme de la Commission, qui dit que c’est un accord gagnant-gagnant. Non! Aujourd’hui, le déficit de la balance commerciale de l’Union par rapport au Viêt Nam représente 30 milliards. Dans l’étude d’impact de la Commission, on nous dit que d’ici 10 ans, ce sera 40 milliards. Et qui va payer? Sans aucun doute, un certain nombre de salariés européens dans les secteurs les plus vulnérables, par exemple le textile. Alors, pour faire du Viêt Nam une sorte de grand atelier du monde, le risque, c’est quand même des délocalisations.

On nous dit que les salariés vietnamiens vont y gagner parce qu’ils vont adopter les normes de l’OIT, mais enfin, on a des exemples! Regardez la Corée du Sud: on nous avait fait des promesses qui n’ont jamais été tenues.

Donc moi, je crois que vous faites preuve soit d’une grande naïveté, soit d’une vraie hypocrisie, une hypocrisie sur les droits de l’homme, parce que franchement, on ne peut pas dire aujourd’hui que le gouvernement vietnamien ait répondu à nos attentes. C’est même tout le contraire: au dernier classement sur la liberté de la presse, le Viêt Nam arrive 176e sur 180 pays dans le monde.

Mais surtout, je renvoie la Commission à cet incroyable double langage: on vote l’état d’urgence climatique, on vote le pacte vert européen et en même temps on passe, business as usual, un accord de libre-échange qui est clairement climaticide et qui ne protège pas le développement durable. Franchement, ça donne l’impression d’une Union européenne qui préfère toujours le commerce à des valeurs fondamentales qui devraient normalement tous nous animer dans cet hémicycle.


  Tiziana Beghin (NI). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Commissario, tre anni fa, votando la mia risoluzione sulla Strategia commerciale per l'Unione europea, il Parlamento chiedeva a gran voce accordi con paesi ad alto tasso di crescita. Ed è stato ascoltato!

Il Vietnam è la nuova tigre asiatica: con un PIL che aumenta del 7 % all'anno, è un paese che sta diventando velocemente più prospero e che incrementa quindi la sua richiesta di beni ad alto valore aggiunto, proprio i beni che noi produciamo qui in Europa.

L'accordo porterà a zero quasi tutti i dazi doganali su questi ed altri prodotti. Alcuni di questi dazi, come quelli sui vini e sui formaggi per esempio, oggi arrivano fino al 50 %, per non parlare poi di quelli delle auto fino all'80 %.

Quest'accordo poi tutelerà 169 DOP, DOC e IGP, di cui ben 38, il 22 %, sono italiane. Quindi, se penso per esempio al mio paese, l'interscambio non fa che aumentare. Le nostre esportazioni sono aumentate del 12 % lo scorso anno, spingendo l'import-export a quota 3,7 miliardi e facendo del Vietnam il nostro primo partner commerciale per quel che riguarda i Paesi ASEAN. È un numero che migliorerà ancora grazie all'accordo. La domanda di prodotti italiani è altissima: oltre 300 milioni di euro per il nostro export di moda, oltre 65 per il cibo e quasi mezzo miliardo per i macchinari.

Colleghi, non c'è dubbio che l'accordo da un punto di vista strettamente commerciale sia vantaggioso, e che quindi meriti il nostro voto favorevole, ma c'è un problema. La situazione dei diritti umani in Vietnam non sembra fare progressi e alcune riforme migliorative in questo senso sono ancora in corso di approvazione.

Personalmente sono certa, come altri colleghi, che l'accordo porterà prosperità, aiuterà a cambiare la situazione in futuro e per questo, se ci sarà il voto domani, lo approveremo. Ma io vorrei chiedere a voi colleghi di posticipare la votazione. Vorrei chiedere di lasciare tempo agli amici vietnamiti per completare le riforme democratiche che abbiamo chiesto loro, mostrandoci ancora un po' di buona volontà. Vorrei inoltre che il Vietnam liberasse i prigionieri politici e di coscienza, che approvasse le convenzioni fondamentali sui diritti dei lavoratori. Colleghi, il Vietnam è un paese amico. Non c'è dubbio che l'accordo entrerà in vigore prima o poi, ma è proprio agli amici che si deve chiedere di più.


  Christophe Hansen (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, le gouvernement américain affirme que la règle du plus fort serait le principe directeur des modèles commerciaux du XXIe siècle. Demain, Mesdames et Messieurs, nous aurons la chance historique de leur prouver le contraire, montrant au monde entier que notre engagement au regard d’un commerce juste et basé sur des règles claires, indépendamment de la taille du partenaire, reste la règle d’or à suivre.

Oui, le Viêt Nam est un pays en voie de développement et évidemment, le processus de modernisation économique, environnementale et surtout sociale est loin d’être achevé. Or la ratification de cet accord n’équivaut pas, comme le président Bernd Lange l’a souligné à juste titre, à mettre fin à la conversation, il n’équivaut pas à fermer les yeux sur la situation des droits de l’homme au Viêt Nam, et surtout pas à donner un chèque en blanc au gouvernement vietnamien. D’ailleurs, notre Président Sassoli rencontre le vice-ministre aux Affaires étrangères, Bùi Thanh Son, aujourd’hui, ici, au Parlement européen.

Quarante-cinq ans après la fin de la guerre du Viêt Nam et trente ans après l’ouverture de nos relations diplomatiques, l’approbation que je soutiens et qui n’attend que d’être prononcée nous permettra justement d’intensifier le dialogue avec nos homologues vietnamiens en nous appuyant, cette fois-ci, sur de véritables leviers et plateformes crédibles. Le comité conjoint revendiqué et obtenu par ce Parlement nous permettra justement de faire pression afin de promouvoir le changement socioéconomique et l’amélioration de la vie de tous les Vietnamiens.


  Patrizia Toia (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, sono indubbi i vantaggi che questo accordo potrà portare sia all'economia europea e all'economia italiana, alle esportazioni italiane, sia certamente anche in quel paese per un salto in avanti anche del loro sviluppo. Ne siamo ben consapevoli e lo consideriamo un fattore importante.

Tuttavia, non possiamo nasconderci. La situazione è ancora molto critica che permane in quel paese. Critica sotto il profilo dei diritti umani in generale, per quanto riguarda i diritti sindacali, per quanto riguarda le libertà politiche e i prigionieri. Io continuo a sottolinearlo, e mi stupisco che non ci sia attenzione anche dalla Commissione – signor Commissario, posso avere la sua attenzione? Posso avere la sua attenzione? Mi rivolgo alla Commissione! Vabbè scriveremo –, per chiedere che ci sia, anche per quanto riguarda l'intervento della cooperazione allo sviluppo, qualche cosa di coerente. Sottolineo il tema del lavoro forzato minorile e del lavoro delle donne in condizioni non accettabili.

Non è colpa solo del Vietnam. È la catena del valore globale che porta alcuni paesi a essere subfornitori di lavoro al minimo ribasso. Dobbiamo ribellarci a questo. Allora non so, certamente i passi avanti sono stati fatti, lo dico con orgoglio a nome di chi del mio gruppo ha trattato e ottenuto moltissime cose. Però, forse, dobbiamo ancora chiedere di più per il lavoro delle persone, donne e bambini. Quindi dovremo monitorare molto bene quest'accordo. Qui si giocherà la serietà della Commissione e in particolare di chi si occupa di cooperazione internazionale.


  Svenja Hahn (Renew). – Madam President, let’s be clear: Vietnam is a communist country. It’s not a democracy, and a trade agreement won’t make it one overnight. But the agreement will boost economic development. It will lift people out of poverty and give them more rights and protection. The new Labour Code especially protects vulnerable groups. Unions will be allowed and freedom of assembly will follow. Increased transparency and international observation bear huge potential for better protection of human rights.

We are already trading with Vietnam. This is not about if we want trade or not. This is about improving the circumstances. So let’s send a strong signal of cooperation to the whole ASEAN region, to reformist forces that believe in cooperation with the European Union, and let’s not give room to actors that don’t want to combine trade and values, like China. Let’s support the agreement and let’s support the people of Vietnam in their development.


  Herve Juvin (ID). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, nous ne voterons pas un traité dont nous estimons qu’il n’est pas bon pour l’Union européenne, qu’il n’est pas bon pour la France et qu’il n’est pas bon pour le Viêt Nam.

Depuis des années, nous dénonçons l’aberration écologique des supply chains qui font trois fois le tour de la planète. Depuis des années, nous soulignons les dangers de la dépendance stratégique à l’égard de sources d’approvisionnement situées à des milliers de kilomètres et où, en dépit de nos belles intentions, nous ne contrôlons rien réellement. Et depuis des années, nous dénonçons aussi les ingérences dans les affaires intérieures de pays souverains auxquelles donnent trop souvent lieu les traités de libre-échange.

Voilà pourquoi nous ne signerons pas ce traité, parce que nous pensons que le XXIe siècle tourne la page du libre-échange et de la globalisation. Nous considérons que le XXIe siècle va être celui des relocalisations, de la poursuite de l’autonomie industrielle des nations, conscientes des exigences de leur indépendance. Par-dessus tout, nous considérons que le XXIe siècle va être le siècle du patriotisme économique.

Nous souhaitons que le Viet Nam, comme l’Union européenne, travaille à son indépendance et à ses libertés stratégiques.


  Anna Cavazzini (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, this Parliament decided in November that the Paris Agreement should be anchored in all chapters of our trade agreements, and this Parliament decided in December that all our trade agreements would have enforceable environmental and social standards. Also, this Parliament considers itself to be at the forefront of human rights, and yet the majority of this House is ready to vote ‘yes’ on the trade and investment deal with Vietnam, in a situation where human rights are deteriorating in Vietnam and the numbers of political prisoners has been on the rise since 2016; in a situation where civic and political rights are systematically being cracked down; and in a situation where the deal on the table still does not contain enforceable social and environmental standards – and not only the Social Democrats in this House always pretended that this was a red line. I understood that there is a majority in this Parliament to make trade more sustainable and climate-proof, which is good. But dear colleagues, we really make a fool of ourselves if we then, at the first best opportunity, give in and let a trade deal pass that does not live up to the Green Deal. I urge you today: say no to this deal. Let’s ask the Commission to renegotiate and to align the Vietnam deal with the Green Deal. And let’s send a strong signal to the Vietnamese Government to improve the devastating human rights situation before we sign the deal and not after.


  Mazaly Aguilar (ECR). – Señora presidente, lo acabamos de oír esta mañana. Globalmente, el Acuerdo comercial con Vietnam beneficia a varios sectores de la Unión Europea y, en el ámbito agroalimentario, la carne o el vino o el queso pueden ser varios de ellos. Sin embargo, es lamentable, una vez más, que la Comisión Europea renuncie a proteger a uno de sus sectores sensibles, como es el arroz.

Vietnam tienen los precios del arroz más bajos de todo el Sudeste Asiático y compite directamente con variedades que se producen en España e Italia. Los arroceros españoles están indignados con esta nueva concesión y su impacto en los precios de un sector ya de por sí en crisis.

Ser deficitarios en la producción de arroz no significa que la apertura de fronteras no cause un daño irreparable a la producción europea. No consigo entender por qué, después de aplicar la cláusula de salvaguarda a principios del año 2019 con Myanmar y Camboya, la Unión Europea siga cometiendo los mismos errores y no valore el impacto que estas importaciones van a causar en el mercado europeo y en un producto sensible como es el arroz.

El sector arrocero europeo cumple un papel clave tanto en la economía como en la conservación de áreas geográficas con un alto valor ambiental. Exigimos a las autoridades de la Unión Europea que realicen estudios de este impacto y que den los pasos necesarios para aplicar nuevas y más efectivas cláusulas de salvaguardia.


  Ivan Vilibor Sinčić (NI). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, mnogo je razloga za odbacivanje ovog sporazuma. Treba samo reći da je ovaj ugovor, odnosno ugovori pošto imamo objedinjenu raspravu, napisan na način da je prilagođen interesu korporacija.

Navest ću tri stvari. Prva stvar, ugovor daje posebna prava investitoru, dakle radi se o ISDS-u, odnosno state dispute settlement mehanizmu, radi se o tome da kada dođe do nekog spora nije nadležan domaći sud, nego nekakav tamo daleki međunarodni arbitražni sud.

Mnogo je tragičnih primjera i ovdje kod nas u Europi na narodu Europe gdje se takav mehanizam pokazao štetnim, navest ću samo recimo iz regije Abruzzo gdje je odbijeno, dakle, produljenje koncesije na eksploataciju ugljikovodika i onda su naftne korporacije tužile tu regiju. Ili recimo kod nas u Dubrovniku gdje je investitor u slučaju golfa na Srđu izgubio na hrvatskim sudovima. To mu nije bilo dosta pa je pokrenuo arbitražni spor za 500 milijuna dolara.

Ovaj mehanizam jednostavno potkopava vlastite institucije, kakve jesu da jesu, i suverenitet zemalja pa će tako i Vijetnama. Zamislite jedan veliki sraz između neke općine u Hrvatskoj od par tisuća stanovnika i desetak milijuna kuna proračuna protiv neke mega korporacije u milijardama. Zamislite tek kako bi to moglo biti u Vijetnamu.

Ovdje nema govora o zelenom planu u koji se Komisija toliko kune. Također, kao što se krše ljudska i temeljna prava recimo u Hrvatskoj, što Komisija ignorira, Hrvatska je članica, zamislite što će tek biti u Vijetnamu. Mi u Hrvatskoj znamo dobro kako to izgleda, tu stradaju prava okoliša, samo se bogati establišment.


  Jörgen Warborn (PPE). – Fru talman, kommissionär Hogan, ärade kollegor! Vietnam är, efter Singapore, EU:s viktigaste handelspartner i Sydostasien. I och med avtalet tar vi bort nästan alla tullar och ger europeiska företag tillträde till en marknad med nästan hundra miljoner konsumenter, en snabbt växande medelklass och ökad köpkraft.

Det här innebär fina möjligheter för de cirka 600 företag från Malmö i söder till Vilhelmina i norr som exporterar dit, men också en stor potential för alla dem som importerar från Vietnam. Min förhoppning är att det ska bli ännu enklare för företag att börja handla med denna stora marknad.

Jag reste med Europaparlamentets delegation till Vietnam i höstas. Alla som vi träffade – från partilojala ministrar till människorättsaktivister, näringslivet, humanitära organisationer och den internationella arbetsorganisationen – alla uppmanade oss att ratificera det här avtalet.

EU:s export till Vietnam förväntas öka med 16 procent. Det här är bra för svenska företag och europeisk konkurrenskraft. Det är bra för tillväxten, det är bra för jobben. Det är bra för företagandet. Därför kommer jag att rösta ja till de här avtalen.


  Raphaël Glucksmann (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, nous avons décrété l’état d’urgence climatique, nous avons voté le pacte vert il y a tout juste un mois de cela et demain, on nous demande quoi? On nous demande de voter un accord de libre-échange de plus, comme si de rien n’était.

Cet accord, contrairement à nos promesses écrites noir sur blanc dans la résolution sur le pacte vert européen, ne comprend aucun mécanisme contraignant concernant le chapitre «Développement durable». Alors la question qui se pose à nous est simple: accordons-nous le moindre prix à nos paroles, à nos propres paroles?

Chers collègues, le Viêt Nam enferme les activistes écologistes, les syndicalistes, les défenseurs des droits humains. L’un d’entre eux, Pham Chi Dung, a été arrêté précisément parce qu’il nous a écrit une lettre pour nous demander de ne pas signer l’accord en l’état. Si vous n’accordez aucun prix à vos propres paroles, ayez la décence d’accorder du prix à ses paroles à lui. Ne validez pas l’accord tant qu’il est en prison pour nous avoir parlé.

Chers collègues, il y a quelque chose au-dessus du dieu Commerce. Il y a notre avenir à tous, il y a nos principes. Eh bien demain, c’est l’occasion de le démontrer.


  Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, chers collègues, le Viêt Nam est notre deuxième partenaire économique en Asie du Sud-Est et l’Union européenne attend de nombreux bénéfices de cet accord commercial. Oui, cet accord permettra de protéger 169 indications géographiques, dont 36 AOP françaises. Nos entreprises pourront exporter de nombreux produits sans droits de douane. Nous bénéficierons d’un meilleur accès aux marchés publics. Autant de points offensifs obtenus dans ces négociations.

Mais la situation des droits de l’homme reste préoccupante. De nombreux prisonniers politiques et journalistes sont toujours détenus, malgré les demandes répétées de libération de l’Union européenne.

Si des progrès ont été réalisés avec les ratifications de conventions internationales, nous devons être intransigeants sur le respect du chapitre sur le développement durable. Notre politique commerciale doit être guidée par nos valeurs et le respect des droits de l’homme, mais la ratification de cet accord, chers collègues, n’est pas une fin en soi. La clé de la réussite résidera dans le succès de sa mise en œuvre, tout cela dans un contexte international synonyme de guerre commerciale.


  Roman Haider (ID). – Frau Präsidentin! Um es gleich vorwegzunehmen: Ich werde diesem Abkommen zustimmen. Ich bin prinzipiell ein Befürworter des Freihandels. Der freie Handel hat sich immer als gewinnbringend für beide Seiten und auch als Wachstumsmotor erwiesen. Das trifft auch in ganz besonderem Maße auf die Verbindungen zwischen Europa und Ostasien zu. Vietnam ist dazu noch ein ganz besonders dynamisches Land in einem auch sehr dynamischen Umfeld. Das Wirtschaftswachstum Vietnams liegt seit den 90er Jahren konstant über 5 %, und auch die Infrastruktur und die Rechtssicherheit sind in den letzten Jahren stark ausgebaut worden. Und dazu ist Vietnam auch noch als Exportland für Europa besonders interessant.

So positiv das alles klingt, so möchte ich doch auch die negativen Seiten Vietnams nicht verschweigen: Kritische Journalisten, religiöse Minderheiten, Menschenrechtsaktivisten werden vom sozialistischen Regime unterdrückt, außer Landes gejagt oder sterben unter ungeklärten Umständen. Es bleibt deswegen zu hoffen, dass dieses Freihandelsabkommen auch dazu beiträgt, die Menschenrechtslage in Vietnam zu verbessern.


  Yannick Jadot (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, que n’avons-nous pas entendu pendant la campagne électorale des européennes, partout en Europe? C’en était fini des accords de libre-échange qui donnent des droits aux multinationales contre les États, contre les législations environnementales, contre les législations de protection de la santé ou des droits sociaux. C’en était fini de ces accords de libre-échange qui participent au dérèglement climatique, notamment à travers la déforestation. C’en était fini des accords de libre-échange qui attaquent la biodiversité, par exemple à travers la pêche illégale. C’en était fini de ces accords de libre-échange contraires à la démocratie, aux libertés individuelles.

Et là, le premier accord arrive et tous ces groupes, les sociaux-démocrates, Bernd Lange, les libéraux et En marche, les conservateurs: vous allez tous voter un accord de libre-échange contraire aux déclarations et aux engagements de la Commission européenne sur le pacte vert, sur les valeurs de l’Europe et sur une mondialisation régulée.

Comme par hasard, nous avons ce débat après un débat sur le Brexit. Mais n’avez-vous pas compris aussi que le Brexit a été voté parce que nous abandonnons les classes populaires ici pour aller les exploiter dans des conditions abominables sans liberté, sans droits sociaux, de l’autre côté de la planète?

Alors, chers collègues, un peu de décence vis-à-vis des Vietnamiens, un peu de décence vis-à-vis de vos électeurs. Rejetez cet accord de libre-échange qui n’est en rien compatible avec les valeurs de l’Europe.


  Eugen Jurzyca (ECR). – Vážená pani predsedajúca, hoci Vietnam nie je demokratická krajina, zmluvu s ním podporujem z nasledujúcich dôvodov:

v roku 2009 bol Vietnam tridsiatym druhým najväčším importérom z pomedzi krajín EÚ, do krajín EÚ, v 2008 už bol na desiatom mieste. Táto zmena prebiehala a bude prebiehať zo zmluvou alebo bez zmluvy. Rozdiel je v tom, že ak bude prebiehať so zmluvou, tak sa dramaticky zvýši šanca, že sa vo Vietname vďaka zmluve pretlačí viac demokracie. S odchodom Veľkej Británii z EÚ narástlo riziko zmenšenia obchodného priestoru, teda aj potenciálu ekonomického rastu. Navyše EÚ predsa ostáva možnosť uvaliť sankcie, či dokonca odstúpiť od zmluvy, ak by sa demokracia vo Vietname nezlepšovala. Verím, že po desiatich rokoch od podpisu týchto zmlúv bude Vietnam oveľa demokratickejší a bližší trhovej ekonomike, než je dnes. Bude bohatší, bude v ňom žiť menej chudobných, prevažovať bude trhová ekonomika a ľudské práva budú chránené lepšie, rovnako ako životné prostredie.


  Miroslav Radačovský (NI). – Vážená pani predsedajúca, budem podporovať dohodu uzavretú s Vietnamskou socialistickou republikou, a to z toho dôvodu, dňa 5.2.2020 som sa zúčastnil konferencie v Bruseli za účasti predstaviteľov Bangladéša.

Riaditeľka asociácie odevných výrobcov a exportérov Bangladéša okrem iného uviedla: „Prijatím dohôd medzi Európskou úniou a Vietnamom by prišiel Bangladéš o vývoz textílií do USA v zruba v hodnote 13 miliárd ročne.“

Je každému z nás zrejmé, že Európska únia je najväčším importérom odevov z Bangladéša. Ak Vietnam ako hlavný konkurent Bangladéša získa nulové dovozné cla do EÚ, bangladéšsky podiel na trhu sa výrazne zmenší.

Verím, že odporcovia dohôd medzi EÚ a Vietnamom nie sú ovplyvnení veľkými kooperáciami v odevnom priemysle. Všetci vieme, aké pracovné podmienky vrátane pre maloleté deti pri výrobe odevov, ktoré nosíme, sú v Bangladéši. A ešte jedna vec, som jeden z mála teda europoslancov, ktorý si pamätá vojnu vo Vietname. Pamätá si dedinku My Lai, pamätá si Dien Bien Phu, my sme dlžní Vietnamu, hrdinskému ľudu Vietnamu, aby sme túto dohodu uzatvorili. Neuzatvorením tejto dohody by sme opätovne bombardovali vietnamský národ. To je všetko.


  Sven Simon (PPE). – Madam President, this trade agreement between the EU and Vietnam is proof that we can establish European standards in the world through trade agreements. A significant improvement in workers’ rights; a ban on forced labour; the approval of independent unions; an enforcement mechanism for the Paris Agreement, which we wouldn’t have without the agreement. What a great success.

Colleagues from the Greens and the left are generally against trade agreements. They share this in common with the right-wing populists, by the way. The question you have to answer is now: how do you want to implement European standards worldwide? Through speeches in this House? Demonstrations? Letters?

The only realistic way to promote European influence globally in an age of shifting geopolitical distribution of power is through trade agreements. Those who vote against it will have to explain how they want to realistically achieve our common goals while, at the same time, following an agenda which is isolating and disabling the European Union as a trading partner.


  Nicola Danti (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Commissario, i dati ci dicono che nel 2018 l'interscambio commerciale di beni tra l'Unione europea e il Vietnam è pari a circa 40 milioni di euro. Questo significa che già oggi il Vietnam è un partner commerciale importante e che ogni giorno i nostri cittadini usano prodotti "made in Vietnam".

Questo accordo può migliorare le relazioni commerciali e politiche con un partner strategico in un'area molto importante come il sud-est asiatico, inquadrando queste relazioni in un sistema di regole certe e condivise.

Il Vietnam, in questi anni ha avviato un percorso di riforme significative, soprattutto sul diritto del lavoro, i cui progressi sono stati certificati dall'Organizzazione mondiale del lavoro. Certo, questo è solo un punto di partenza e dovremmo pretendere sia su questo che sul rispetto dei diritti umani e delle libertà di espressione fatti e atti concreti da parte delle autorità vietnamite.

In questo senso l'accordo commerciale rappresenta una leva importante nelle mani dell'Unione europea per stimolare e richiamare il Vietnam al rispetto degli impegni solennemente presi.


  Dita Charanzová (Renew). – Madam President, Mr Commissioner, this will be the first major trade agreement that this new Parliament will ratify, and it will send several positive messages. Firstly, to an ever more protectionist world, that the EU still believes in rule-based free trade. Secondly, to the region, bringing us one a step closer to a regional ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) agreement. Thirdly, to our citizens and businesses, that we are dedicated to expanding better conditions for business to thrive, grow and generate more jobs. And finally, it is proved that trade can positively influence other areas. The negotiations helped push Vietnam towards important labour reforms. By having this framework in place, we will now have a way to constructively engage on topics ranging from human rights to the environment and, as with any agreement, implementation will be the key. And you can count on this Parliament to do our job.


  Marco Campomenosi (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, bisogna usare le parole giuste per commentare quello che dice la Commissione europea. Bugia: no sviluppo locale, non creerà sviluppo ad aziende vietnamite, servirà solo a incentivare la delocalizzazione di imprese europee e di grandi multinazionali verso un paese come il Vietnam.

Ennesimo colpo, peraltro, al settore risicolo italiano ed europeo, in generale. Vergogna! Vergogna, perché – l'hanno detto in molti – i diritti umani non sono certo rispettati in Vietnam, gli standard sociali sono bassissimi. Ennesimo accordo commerciale che favorirà una concorrenza salariale al ribasso e i nostri lavoratori lo sanno bene.

Ipocrisia! Ipocrisia perché il Green New Deal che volete imporre alle nostre aziende e che costerà loro moltissimo, ovviamente non può essere imposto al Vietnam e il Vietnam si guarderà bene dall'andare in quella direzione, peraltro con standard che pretendete magari di chiedere alla Gran Bretagna, che già rispetta, e invece non vi fate alcun problema, nella vostra fallimentare politica commerciale, a stringere accordi con paesi lontanissimi da ogni livello di tutela sociale e ambientale.


  Heidi Hautala (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, agreements between the EU and Vietnam are undoubtedly important geopolitically, and Vietnam has also made progress in reforming its labour laws – but it has, on the other hand, failed to amend its penal code to allow workers to enjoy those rights. Oppression has become more severe even during the last stage of the finalisation of these agreements. Parliament, if giving its consent tomorrow, takes a heavy responsibility of making its own demands happen in reality on sustainable development, human rights and participation of an independent civil society, and, as our own Committee on Foreign Affairs demands, the Commission and its Vietnamese counterparts still must set up an independent monitoring mechanism on human rights and an independent complaints mechanism with the recourse to remedy. So this all is why our Group, the Greens/European Free Alliance, cannot yet support these agreements.


  Adam Bielan (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Zarówno umowa o wolnym handlu (FTA), jak i umowa o ochronie inwestycji (IPA) to rzeczywiście najambitniejsze umowy tego rodzaju zawarte kiedykolwiek z krajem rozwijającym się. Negocjując je, Komisja starała się osiągnąć dwa podstawowe cele: po pierwsze, zapewnić podmiotom gospodarczym z Unii możliwie najlepsze warunki dostępu do wietnamskiego rynku; po drugie, zapewnić cenny drugi punkt odniesienia (po umowie z Singapurem) dla innych negocjacji prowadzonych przez Unię w tym regionie. Oba te cele zostały w pełni osiągnięte. Umowy wykraczają poza istniejące zobowiązania podjęte w ramach WTO w wielu obszarach, takich jak usługi, zamówienia, bariery pozataryfowe oraz ochrona praw własności intelektualnej, w tym oznaczeń geograficznych. We wszystkich tych obszarach Wietnam zgodził się również przyjąć nowe zobowiązania, które znacznie wykraczają poza to, do czego zobowiązał się w innych umowach, w tym we wszechstronnym i progresywnym porozumieniu o partnerstwie transpacyficznym. Umowy zniosą niemal wszystkie ograniczenia celne dla wzajemnej wymiany handlowej. Są dobrze zbilansowane i pozytywnie wpłyną na gospodarkę zarówno Unii, jak i Wietnamu. Dzięki tym umowom Unia zyska większe możliwości wywarcia nacisku na Hanoi w kwestii praw człowieka. Dlatego apeluję o głosowanie za ratyfikacją tych dokumentów.


  Enikő Győri (PPE). – Elnök Asszony! Látom, a szélsőségek összeérnek ma ebben a Házban. Javaslom az ellenzőknek átgondolni, hogy mi is a mi elsődleges dolgunk. A mi dolgunk az, hogy az európai vállalatoknak lehetőségeket teremtsünk, és ebből pedig a mi polgáraink hasznot húzzanak. A több kereskedelem Vietnám polgárainak is esélyt jelent a fejlődésre, és arra, hogy a mi normáink követésével a szabadságuk kiteljesedjen. Szereptévesztésben van az, aki azt gondolja, hogy az Uniónak állandóan oktatni és kioktatnia kell, ahelyett, hogy kis tisztelettel közelít a partnerekhez és jó kapcsolatokra törekszik. A párbeszéd és a vállalások ellenőrzése fog hozzájárulni Vietnám emberjogi, munka- és környezetvédelmi fejlődéséhez, nem pedig az, ha hátat fordítunk.

Aki a két egyezmény ellen érvel, az nem akarja, hogy az európai vállalatok hozzáférjenek, Hanoi vagy Ho Si Minh-város közbeszerzési piacához. Kedves ellenzők, ne akarjanak rosszat az európai vállalatoknak és a vietnámiaknak. A Bizottságtól azt kérem, hogy naprakész, gyakorlati információkkal segítse, hogy az európai kkv-k a legteljesebb mértékben kihasználhassák a két egyezményt.


  Inma Rodríguez-Piñero (S&D). – Señora presidenta, señor Hogan, el acuerdo entre la Unión Europea y Vietnam tiene una gran importancia estratégica por el impulso que da a nuestras relaciones comerciales con la región de la ASEAN y por el firme compromiso de Vietnam en defensa del multilateralismo y del desarrollo sostenible cuando el mundo más lo necesita.

Se ha negociado una reducción arancelaria ambiciosa, una cooperación reforzada y, sobre todo, un capítulo vinculante de desarrollo sostenible que define un marco de relaciones laborales con Vietnam más acorde a los principios y convenios de la OIT.

El Parlamento Europeo, gracias al empuje de mi grupo parlamentario y también de otros grupos, ha conseguido medidas y compromisos fehacientes del Gobierno vietnamita en materia de derechos laborales y de respeto de los derechos humanos, especificados en programas de trabajo. Y quiero agradecer los esfuerzos realizados a las autoridades de Vietnam. Pero todavía queda mucho por hacer y a los socialistas nos sigue preocupando la situación de los derechos humanos, en especial en lo que afecta a las libertades fundamentales.

Por ello seguiremos de cerca el cumplimiento de lo acordado y le pido, señor comisario, que también tome las medidas adecuadas para asegurarnos de que este acuerdo no perjudica a los agricultores europeos y, en particular, a los productores de arroz. Pero creo que este acuerdo es un instrumento importante para avanzar y lo apoyaré.


  Pierre Karleskind (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, chers collègues, je voudrais rejoindre notre collègue Bartolo, qui était rapporteur pour la commission PECH, sur la nécessité de lutter contre la pêche illégale.

Lutter contre la pêche illégale, c’est évidemment assurer une gestion durable des ressources halieutiques, c’est aussi s’assurer d’éviter la concurrence déloyale avec les pêcheurs qui sont soumis aux contraintes que nous avons sur notre continent.

Le Viêt Nam a un carton jaune sur la pêche illégale, mais il faut souligner les efforts qui ont été entrepris par ce pays, notamment dans le cadre des négociations qui aboutissent aujourd’hui à cet accord de libre-échange. Il faut aussi noter que dans cet accord, il est mentionné explicitement que les partis qui signent l’accord lutteront activement contre cette pêche illicite.

Alors est-ce suffisant? Eh bien, si ce n’est pas suffisant, allons plus loin. Allons plus loin et mettons en place des garde-fous, comme la suppression des tarifs préférentiels pour les produits de la pêche tant que, à l’avenir, il y aura carton jaune. C’est le sens de l’amendement que Renew a déposé et que je vous invite à soutenir.


  Maximilian Krah (ID). – Frau Präsidentin, meine Damen und Herren! Handel nutzt grundsätzlich beiden Seiten. Als ständiger Berichterstatter für Bangladesch und andere Länder weiß ich, wie Entwicklungsländer auf Vietnam schauen, weil zum ersten Mal ein Schwellenland die Möglichkeit erhält, sich über ein individuelles Freihandelsabkommen an die europäische Wirtschaft anzukoppeln und zu entwickeln. Gerade deshalb ist dieses Abkommen wichtig, weil es den vielen Schwellenländern eine Chance und einen Weg bietet, den wir ihnen einräumen sollten. Aus diesem Grunde werbe ich um Ihre Zustimmung.

Das Freihandelsabkommen ist ausgewogen, es reflektiert die verschiedenen Ansichten hier im Hause zum Handel mit anderen Ländern, und es macht allen Schwellenländern ein eigenes europäisches Angebot für die weitere Entwicklung, damit es zu einem Wohlstand in der Heimat kommt und nicht dazu, dass diese Menschen ihr Glück anderweitig und in anderen Ländern suchen müssen.

Insofern: ein gutes, ausgewogenes Abkommen, das ein positives Licht auf Europa und den Handel wirft. Ich bitte um Ihre Zustimmung.


  Markéta Gregorová (Verts/ALE). – Paní předsedající, volný obchod obecně vytváří bohatství pro obě strany. Jak tedy jako proevropská politička mohu být proti ratifikaci současné dohody EU-Vietnam? Protože tím dáme autoritářskému režimu bianko šek na obchod s největším ekonomickým blokem na světě bez vymahatelných podmínek. Ratifikací smluv dnes komunistické straně Vietnamu řekneme, že EU podporuje sledovací stát s monopolem jedné strany, který utlačuje své obyvatele. Nenechte se totiž mýlit tzv. zárukami lidských práv a demokratických reforem. Za 8 let vyjednávání této dohody se situace ve Vietnamu zhoršila.

Nejde jen o lidská práva, nejsou-li někomu dost. Zahodit silnou vyjednávací pozici je chyba i pro samotný obchod. Na dohodě vydělá značně více Vietnam než EU a v takovou chvíli máme my chtít záruky pro naši politiku a byznys. Otázka zní: Skutečně chceme Evropu, kterou mohou autoritáři všech zemí hýbat, jak potřebují, bez nutnosti uvolnit své režimy?

(Řečnice souhlasila s tím, že odpoví na otázku položenou zvednutím modré karty (čl. 171 odst. 8 jednacího řádu))


  Sven Simon (PPE), Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Frau Kollegin, ich verstehe eins nicht an Ihrer Argumentation: Sind Sie der Meinung, dass wir mit dem Abkommen oder ohne das Abkommen mehr Einfluss auf das autoritäre Regime haben? Das ist doch die Frage, die im Raum steht: Sind wir mit dem Abkommen einflussreicher in Vietnam oder ohne das Abkommen?


  Markéta Gregorová (Verts/ALE), blue-card answer. – I will answer in English if you don’t mind. We see that the agreement didn’t help to do anything for now, because apparently the negotiations haven’t been led properly with regard to human rights. So what is necessary is actually to follow what we originally approved as the European Parliament also, and to push for the reforms and for what we want. As I said, we are now giving a blank cheque on our trade, because they didn’t do anything that we wanted from them and that they promised to us.


  Carlo Fidanza (ECR). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, questo accordo tra UE e Vietnam presenta come sempre aspetti contraddittori. Il tema dei diritti umani ripetutamente violati, alcune opportunità significative per le nostre imprese e una tutela ampia per le nostre denominazioni d'origine.

Eppure rimane una grande criticità irrisolta su un settore cruciale come quello del riso. La produzione risicola italiana, la più importante dell'Unione europea, e quella europea sono già da anni sotto attacco per via dell'accordo EBA con Cambogia e Myanmar. La clausola di salvaguardia è stata applicata tardi e male ed è di questi giorni la notizia che nell'ambito del blocco delle agevolazioni commerciali con la Cambogia non rientrerà il riso. In questo quadro è evidente che l'immissione sul mercato di ulteriori ingenti quote di riso vietnamita a bassissimo prezzo rischia di mettere in ginocchio un settore già provato.

La nostra delegazione non intende quindi essere complice di questo disegno e non sosterrà questo accordo fino a quando non verrà salvaguardato il riso italiano ed europeo.


  Άννα-Μισέλ Ασημακοπούλου (PPE). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, στηρίζουμε τη συμφωνία ελεύθερου εμπορίου μεταξύ Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και Βιετνάμ, διότι είναι μία πολύ καλή συμφωνία η οποία έχει οικονομικά οφέλη για όλους: με τη σταδιακή κατάργηση σχεδόν όλων των δασμών, με την άρση των δασμολογικών ποσοστώσεων, ανοίγοντας τις αγορές στους παρόχους υπηρεσιών της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και δίνοντας πρόσβαση στους διαγωνισμούς δημοσίων συμβάσεων. Η συμφωνία έχει οφέλη για πολλά κράτη μέλη, μεταξύ των οποίων και για τη δική μου χώρα —την Ελλάδα, όπου θα βοηθήσει στις εξαγωγές φαρμακευτικών ειδών και αγροτικών προϊόντων, εξασφαλίζοντας την προστασία γεωγραφικών ενδείξεων σημαντικών ελληνικών προϊόντων, όπως είναι η φέτα και το ούζο. Επιπλέον, η συμφωνία θα θωρακίσει τα εργατικά δικαιώματα, θα ενισχύσει τη δημοκρατία και τον σεβασμό των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων και θα συμβάλει στη μάχη κατά της κλιματικής αλλαγής. Οπότε, στην εποχή των εμπορικών πολέμων, έχει και μία συμβολική αξία. Καταδεικνύει ότι η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση επιμένει σε ένα πολυμερές σύστημα ελεύθερου εμπορίου βασισμένο σε δίκαιους κανόνες, που συνάδει με τις αρχές και τις αξίες της ενωμένης Ευρώπης. Σας καλώ να την υπερψηφίσουμε.


  Marianne Vind (S&D). – Fru formand! I en tid, hvor frihandel og samarbejde er under pres for gamle venner, er det vigtigere end nogen sinde, at EU bliver ved med at åbne markeder. Vi er nu garanten for retfærdig og bæredygtig og regelbaseret handel. Derfor bør vi også godkende denne aftale, der er den mest omfattende handelsaftale nogensinde imellem EU og et udviklingsland.

Vietnam har forpligtet sig til alle ILO's otte kernekonventioner, og seks af dem er allerede ratificeret. Et land med kommunistisk styre har nu anerkendt retten til kollektiv forhandling og er på vej mod forsamlingsfrihed. 95 millioner flere mennesker har i dag ret til at organisere sig og til at kæmpe sammen. Det er et stort skridt, der aldrig var sket, hvis vi ikke havde rakt hånden frem.

Aftalen med Vietnam er langt fra perfekt. Men politik handler ikke om perfektionisme. Det handler om konkrete fremskridt for konkrete mennesker, og det får vi ved at holde Vietnam tæt.


  Angelika Winzig (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar, Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die Geschichte hat gezeigt, dass Handel und offene Märkte Wohlstand schaffen und sichern. Ich komme aus einem Land mit einer 60 %-igen Exportquote, sechs von zehn Euro werden im Ausland verdient, und jeder zweite Arbeitsplatz hängt direkt oder indirekt vom Export ab, und es soll mir jemand sagen, wie wir in Zukunft ohne Export unsere Sozialsysteme weiter sichern.

Das Handelsabkommen mit Vietnam ist in der Tat ein besonderes, weil es in dieser Form noch nie mit einem kommunistischen Schwellenland geschlossen wurde und weil es auch ein Türöffner für weitere Abkommen sein wird. Es hat neben der Implementierung europäischer Standards auch eine große politische Dimension, nämlich die Einhaltung der Grundrechte. Deshalb wurden Mechanismen für die Evaluierung der Grundrechte, aber auch Sanktionen bei Verstößen verankert.

Positiv anzumerken – und Herr Lange hat es ja bereits gesagt – sind die Arbeitsrechtsnormen, die 2023 endgültig ratifiziert werden. Die politischen Alphawölfe haben kein großes Interesse an einem wirtschaftlich erfolgreichen Europa, und deshalb ist es wichtig, dass wir unsere erfolgreiche Handelspolitik mit weiteren Abkommen auch konsequent fortführen.


  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Madam President, Commissioner Hogan, our rapporteur, Mr Bourgeois, and others have outlined many of the benefits of this Free Trade Agreement, both for Vietnam and for the European Union, because free trade agreements are, after all, about a win-win for both sides.

As a standing rapporteur for the ASEAN region and a former rapporteur for the EPP for Singapore, I welcome our Free Trade Agreement with Vietnam. This is the first really comprehensive agreement we will be doing with a developing country, and that’s very important. Because it’s one thing to do it with a developed economy, and it’s another thing – so it’s a very positive message – to be doing agreements with developing countries like Vietnam.

To those who oppose it, I would say to them: will any of the issues that you have be improved by opposing this agreement? The answer is no. As has been pointed out, there were already huge improvements even during negotiations that will continue when we develop the Agreement.


  Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez (PPE). – Señora presidenta, comisario Hogan, el acuerdo de libre comercio con Vietnam supone una señal importante, tanto fuera como dentro de Europa.

Fuera, porque la Unión Europea demuestra una vez más que es la gran potencia comercial a nivel mundial; demuestra que, a pesar de los intentos de los populistas por levantar barreras arancelarias y volver al proteccionismo, Europa sigue siendo la mayor defensora del libre comercio.

Y es importante también dentro de Europa; es importante para las miles de empresas que ven en la desaparición del 65 % de los aranceles una gran oportunidad de negocio, un nuevo mercado que se abre cuando otros se cierran.

Para España esto será esencialmente beneficioso para sectores como el cárnico, cada vez más presente en Asia, así como para el sector del aceite de oliva, del vino y de las bebidas espirituosas, que ven reconocidas muchas de sus indicaciones geográficas y denominaciones de origen.

Para aquellos que no resulten beneficiados estaremos vigilantes para garantizar que este acuerdo no se firme a costa de nadie y que todos los españoles y los europeos salgamos ganando con él. Por ello, pido el apoyo para este acuerdo.


  Željana Zovko (PPE). – Madam President, Vietnam is an important partner in Southeast Asia. This year they hold the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and we aspire to foster closer trade relations with them. With this free trade agreement we are starting a new era in our relations. Vietnam is a fast—growing economy and by facilitating European—Vietnamese trade, this agreement offers ample opportunities for companies on both sides.

We encourage cultural and economic cooperation. We create a stepping stone to the European Union’s longer term goal of region to region EU-Southeast Asia trade relations. In addition, we will enhance European visibility in the emerging Asian market.

But next to closer trade cooperation we should also keep in mind the situation of human rights in our partner country. We see that the government restricts the freedom of religion through legislation and surveillance. Local authorities often seize properties in places of worship. Next to our strengthened trade with Vietnam, the European Union should also push for improved inter-religious dialogue. We should not only work on strengthening the economic ties but also respect the right of belief as a fundamental aspect of our future relations. I do support this trade agreement but also I expect much closer …

(The President cut off the speaker)


  Hildegard Bentele (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, sehr geehrte Kollegen und Kolleginnen! Ich unterstütze den Abschluss des EU-Vietnam-Abkommens, weil wir damit neben der Schaffung und dem Erhalt von Arbeitsplätzen in Vietnam und auch in der EU eine gute Entwicklung in Gang gesetzt haben, die insgesamt eine positive Auswirkung auf die vietnamesische Gesellschaft haben kann. Das Wichtigste ist, dass wir mit dem Abkommen einen festen Rechtsrahmen, eine Plattform für Dialog, Kontrollmechanismen und eine ständige Kommission, die mit Abgeordneten aus beiden Ländern besetzt ist, eingesetzt haben, in denen wir nicht nur über die Inhalte des Handelsabkommens sprechen können, sondern auch über die Umsetzung des Pariser Klimaabkommens und den Green Deal, über Pressefreiheit und über Menschenrechte. Wir geben eben keinen Blankoscheck. Wir stehen am Anfang einer Partnerschaft, die wir mit Leben erfüllen müssen. Die Kommission und wir als Abgeordnete haben jetzt die Verpflichtung und Aufgabe, dieses Abkommen zum Modell und Vorbild zu machen. Ich freue mich, dass offensichtlich eine große Mehrheit in diesem Haus diese Chance nutzen möchte.


  Lídia Pereira (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, Senhor Comissário, caros Colegas, o acordo de comércio livre entre a União Europeia e o Vietname, além de economicamente vantajoso, já conseguiu influenciar a adoção de um novo código de trabalho no Vietname.

Os reconhecimentos do direito à negociação coletiva, juntamente com o direito à liberdade sindical, devem-se à nossa ação. No entanto, não posso deixar de sinalizar que devíamos ter sido mais ambiciosos no prazo para a ratificação da Convenção da OIT sobre a Abolição do Trabalho Forçado e na adoção de medidas para o cumprimento do Acordo de Paris.

As alterações climáticas não conhecem fronteiras e temos pouco tempo para o muito que há para fazer. Ainda assim este acordo é um excelente exemplo da utilização da nossa política comercial para a promoção dos princípios e dos valores europeus.

Caro Comissário, caros colegas, perdemos o Reino Unido, mas não deixámos de ser uma potência comercial e não podemos, por isso, dar qualquer passo atrás no exercício da nossa capacidade para a promoção dos direitos humanos, para o reconhecimento dos direitos sociais e laborais e, não menos importante, para a proteção do meio ambiente e da biodiversidade.


Spontane Wortmeldungen


  Clare Daly (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, it is clear that business is already booming in Vietnam: huge growth and opportunities in profits, and it is an opportunity to exploit a population of almost 100 million people. That’s why we’ve had the substantial lobbying by the European institutions and the various business organisations not to defer ratification of this Treaty.

Don’t kid ourselves that we’re doing this for the benefit of the Vietnamese people, that this agreement is to lift them out of poverty, as somebody ridiculously claimed. These agreements have resulted in a transfer of wealth from the Global South to the West, exploiting their resources and their assets and undermining jobs in countries like those in the European Union.

Someone asked how will these issues be sorted out if we don’t deal with them? The arrogance of such a question! They’ll be dealt with by the Vietnamese people organising themselves in the same way as people did in these countries. And if we were serious about their concerns we’d listen to the NGOs and the trade unions who are telling us not to ratify this deal.


  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (Renew). – Señora presidenta, comisario, la política de acuerdos comerciales que está desplegando la Unión en los últimos años se está revelando como una de las herramientas más eficaces para extender nuestros estándares sociales y ambientales en el mundo global; también para fomentar avances en materia de derechos humanos, algo muy notable en este Acuerdo.

Así, la Unión Europea es capaz de implementar políticas imposibles Estado a Estado. Añade valor; se revela como el actor global que necesitamos; resulta útil a la ciudadanía. Me alegro, además, de que este proceso en favor de un comercio mundial más justo no olvide ningún sector.

Considero un enorme acierto haber incluido una salvaguardia para garantizar que nuestros productores —especialmente las empresas transformadoras de productos de la pesca y, muy en particular, las conserveras— vean defendidos sus legítimos intereses y reconocidas sus buenas prácticas frente a las amenazas de la pesca ilegal no declarada y no reglamentada.

Mientras la Comisión no retire la tarjeta amarilla a Vietnam por esta razón, la Unión debe proteger sus producciones contra el dumping social y ambiental propiciado por estas prácticas pesqueras.


  Maria Arena (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, voter un accord commercial libéral avec un régime autoritaire communiste au nom de la défense des droits de l’homme relève vraiment du surréalisme – et vous savez que je suis belge d’origine, pays du surréalisme, comme M. Bourgeois. Mais je pense qu’ici, nous décrochons la palme d’or.

Pourtant il était, il est possible de faire mieux par rapport à cet accord. Pourquoi le mécanisme de règlement des différends entre États ne couvre-t-il pas le développement durable? Pourquoi, quand il s’agit des droits sociaux et environnementaux, n’y a-t-il plus de mécanismes contraignants assortis de sanctions?

Un changement de ce type, Monsieur le Commissaire, est tout à fait possible, mais encore faut-il en avoir la volonté politique. Vous, Monsieur le Commissaire, mais aussi nous, en tant que Parlement, donnons-nous le temps encore de modifier cet accord, comme nous l’avons fait avec l’ISDS en son temps. Tout le monde, ici au Parlement, disait que l’ISDS était magnifique. Nous avons mené la bataille, nous avons gagné en changeant l’ISDS en ICS. Nous avons une bataille à mener ici: faisons du développement durable un chapitre contraignant, avec sanctions.


  Mick Wallace (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, Commissioner, you told us that human rights was an issue of concern in Vietnam. Now Phil, tell me, in God’s name when did you ever allow any concerns about human rights to interfere with our business interests? I mean, we even do business with Israel and Saudi Arabia. These trade deals don’t do anything for the people from these regions. They decimate indigenous industry, they impoverish small farmers. The people of Vietnam will not benefit from this. Big business in Vietnam will benefit from it.

The main problem with this type of agreement is that it guarantees enforceable rights to foreign investors and multinationals through the arbitration clause but doesn’t provide a mechanism for sanctions for noncompliance with social and environmental standards. What are the chances of trading with someone on the far side of the planet being good for our environment? Zero. What are the chances of being consistent with the Paris Agreement? Zero.


  Jordi Cañas (Renew). – Señora presidenta, la ignorancia no debería ser excusa que justificase argumentos demagógicos. Sinceramente, el comercio existe con Vietnam. Es que a algunos parece que se les tiene que explicar lo obvio. El comercio existe: 43 000 millones en importaciones; 13 000 millones en exportaciones. Es que, de verdad, existe.

Entonces, ¿queremos que ese comercio este ajustado dentro de unas reglas y unas normas? Sí. ¿Este acuerdo beneficiará e impulsará el cumplimiento de esas normas, el cumplimiento de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible, de los derechos humanos, de condiciones medioambientales? ¿Las mejora o no? Las mejora. Es mejor un acuerdo que un no acuerdo.

Yo no sé si algunos quieren cambiar el mundo desde declaraciones, desde posiciones extremistas, Savonarolas medioambientales, pero así igual ganan votos, pero no contribuirán a mejorar la calidad de vida de ningún ciudadano en ninguna parte del mundo. Este es un acuerdo que puede intentar lograrlo, que define un marco y crea obligaciones. Y será nuestra responsabilidad intentar que se ejecute adecuadamente, y ahí tenemos que ser vigilantes. Pero lo que no lo haremos será desde declaraciones extremistas que solo tienen como objetivo reforzar y ganar votos en vez de intentar avanzar en los derechos humanos, en los derechos sociales, en los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible y en el respeto medioambiental.


  Bogdan Rzońca (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Jestem za wolnym handlem i dlatego oczywiście będę popierał zawarcie tej umowy. Mam tylko jedną wątpliwość i proszę ewentualnie o odpowiedź. Należy bowiem przypuszczać, że po wejściu w życie tej umowy import towarów spożywczych z Wietnamu do Unii Europejskiej wzrośnie. Teraz jest to piąta czy czwarta pozycja, w przyszłości może być tych towarów dużo więcej. Chciałem zatem zapytać, czy Unia Europejska jest przygotowana na dobrą kontrolę napływu tej żywności wysokiej jakości? Czy nie będzie zakłóceń na rynku spożywczym spowodowanych przemytem czy nielegalnym transferem do Europy żywności niższej jakości?


  Helmut Scholz (GUE/NGL). – Frau Präsidentin! Blicken wir auf die zweite Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts – Stichwort Befreiungskrieg, Vietnamkrieg, Agent Orange –, wird die gewaltige Dimension der Herausforderung der wirtschaftlichen Aufholprozesse, der Transformation in Vietnam durchaus deutlich – und damit auch die Aufgabenstellung, die sich die damalige Führung gestellt hat: Öffnung hin zum Weltmarkt, um diese wirtschaftliche Sozialentwicklung zu ermöglichen.

Deshalb, liebe Kollegen Simon und Cañas: Anstatt ein reines Freihandelsabkommen und zusätzlich noch ein Investitionsschutzabkommen mit der Sozialistischen Republik Vietnam abzuschließen, hätten wir die Gelegenheit nutzen sollen, ein Kooperationsabkommen abzuschließen. So hätten wir die Verbesserung der Lebens- und Arbeitsbedingungen in Vietnam, die Fragen des Klimawandels gemeinsam mit unseren Partnern in den Vordergrund rücken können. Ich begrüße durchaus die Schritte Vietnams zur Ratifizierung bestimmter Kernarbeitsnormen der ILO und erkenne die Hoffnung an, die vietnamesische Gewerkschafterinnen und Gewerkschafter dieser Entwicklung entgegengebracht haben. Dem Kapitel über Arbeits- und Umweltschutz fehlen jedoch die Zähne. Deshalb meine Unterstützung für den europäischen Gewerkschaftskongress, wenn er vor dem Abkommen in der jetzigen Form und seiner Ratifizierung warnt.


(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)


  Phil Hogan, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, first of all, I want to thank the House for their contributions, but it is an opportunity as well to thank some people that have been involved in the EU—Vietnam negotiations.

Can I thank Mr Lange, the Chair of the Committee on International Trade (INTA), Mr Bourgeois, the rapporteur, and all the shadows who have been involved in the scrutiny of this particular deal? To note that the four committee Chairs that are indirectly involved in this scrutiny have given their support for the deal. Can I thank former Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, and the DG TRADE officials for their tremendous work over many years in relation to this deal?

As many speakers have said, these are the first trade and investment agreements to be voted on by this Parliament. And I hope that they will receive your approval so that our companies, particularly our SMEs that have been mentioned by many of you, can start tapping into the potential and generate growth and employment.

In such uncertain times for global trade, a positive vote of course will send a strong signal in relation to the EU’s commitment to an open and fair trade based on rules and values. I can assure you that we will monitor implementation very closely, because I agree with many of you that there are issues that have to be resolved and will constantly require us to ensure the Vietnam lives up to its commitments. I’m fully aware of these particular sentiments.

But, in relation to some of the specifics that we mentioned, horse trade is usually associated with market access, and this has been a very good deal in terms of EU-Vietnamese reciprocity in so many products. Mr Juncker has mentioned issues in relation to food and can I confirm that the Free Trade Agreement liberalises all EU export offensive interests, like beef, pork, poultry, wines, spirits and beer, but it also has safeguards for some of our sensitive issues, like rice, sugar, sweetcorn and canned tuna.

These safeguards are a new dimension in relation to our free trade agreements in recent years, which includes for the first time a free trade agreement that we are ratifying where safeguards are given in respect of tariff rate quotas (TRQs). We have also got recognition by Vietnam in this deal for the European Union to be treated as a single entity for sanitary and phytosanitary terms, which will reduce a lot of the non-tariff barriers that we have. Equally, our 169 geographical indications right around the European Union have been protected.

On the trade and sustainable development (TSD) chapter, improving the implementation and enforcement of all our agreements is very important, and this is a key priority for the Commission. Vietnam is a good example of where they are making considerable efforts even before the deal has been implemented in relation to TSD matters, with important progress being made.

So the pressure that you’ve applied is certainly bearing fruit. But we have also established an institutional structure through the domestic advisory groups, which will include all stakeholders, including NGOs, civil society, businesses and all the services that will have an input in relation to the implementation of this agreement.

The implementation is very important. That’s why we’re establishing as well in the Commission a chief trade enforcement officer during the course of the next few months. The new labour code, which was adopted in November 2019, recognises the principle of freedom of association possibly to set up independent trade unions at enterprise level, as I mentioned earlier, which is outside the scope of the dominant Vietnam general confederation of labour.

So Vietnam has started the implementation. It has a master plan that’s going to be implemented by January 2021 and one of the aspects is to check its consistency with all other legal documents, including the penal code and the criminal code. The ILO Conventions has said that six out of eight are implemented. We’re at the same stage as we were in terms of the implementation of this agreement with Japan. So I think this is good progress by Vietnam.

Vietnam has started preparations to set up these independent civil society organisations, and last week they gave me an action plan and a timescale in relation to their implementation. I mentioned child labour. There has been a 40% reduction since 2012 and of course they are committed to a new action plan to eradicate poverty over the 2021—2025 period.

Some Members have mentioned human rights, and rightly so. It does remain an area of concern in our relationship with Vietnam, but we must take into account where the country has come from and see clear evidence of progress in the last 25 years, notably in the socioeconomic domain.

Human rights improvements are central to our engagement, and there’s a binding and enforceable link between the FTA, investment protection agreement (IPA) and the partnership and cooperation agreement (PCA) that allows for total or partial suspension of the agreement in case of systemic or severe breaches on human rights. We also have an annual human rights dialogue and there’s a meeting next week in Hanoi so these are all, I think, positives.

There are divergences between us and I’m not saying anything otherwise, but we are convinced that the agreements provide an initial platform to engage with Vietnamese society and governments on these issues. This is the view of several Vietnamese NGOs who say that the implementation of this agreement would open more space for civil society. Now clearly Ms Daly and Mr Wallace have not heard those particular voices in relation to that part of the deal.

The EU is of course also closely concerned about political prisoners and persons of concern. We have a list of persons of concern that we have been regularly raising in our exchanges at the highest level. And we are striving to make sure that the EU delegation are not only consistently ensuring that these people are released, but also attending trials, meeting family members and providing the best possible facilities for the families of these political prisoners.

The FTA and the IPA will create another important and conducive environment to ensure that these issues are not put under the table, but are consistently high on the agenda. The lack of ratification of the agreement would leave the European Union with no instrument at all to support a reform agenda for Vietnam, and we will push Vietnam closer to other partners that do not necessarily share the same values if we don’t have this agreement.

The institutional set up again, as I mentioned in the context of various fora to speak about these issues, is very important. Environment was mentioned: of course Vietnam is one of the countries that are most affected by climate change. So surely they are interested in implementing the Paris Agreement, which they have signed up to. And, under the trade and sustainable development chapter, this is explicitly mentioned. So their national determined contributions are going to ensure, like other partners around the world where we do deals, that are going to have to implement this in a legally binding way, as they have signed up to in relation to the Paris Agreement.

So this is another win and another example of where we are providing the framework where we can implement, through this free trade agreement, the necessary leverage to ensure that these commitments are met.

Vietnam has also concluded with the EU a forest law enforcement, governance and trade voluntary partnership agreement (FLEGT VPA), which has been enforced since 1 June 2019. And this particular partnership agreement aims to ensure that all timber products imported into the European Union from Vietnam are legal. This is very significant as Vietnam is a major processing hub, importing timber from over 80 countries, including from a number of high-risk countries in the region such as Cambodia.

Under the VPA, Vietnam has to introduce mandatory due diligence obligations for its importers. Vietnam is currently working on the implementation of this particular scheme through the various licences that will have to ensure traceability.

So our one major success in this field has been the open and constructive participation of all the relevant stakeholders in Vietnam during the negotiation phase. These are the issues that have come to the fore and we have got a response. We have to continue ultimately of course to reach our final destination and our objectives.

Finally, on this issue in relation to concern about the investment court system, following the European Parliament’s demands, the investment protection agreement with Vietnam includes the most modern and reformed investment protection framework in any agreement with an investment court system for the resolution of investment disputes, replacing the traditional investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) arbitration mechanism, and this has been confirmed as the proper way to go by the European Court of Justice decision that was recently made.

So all of the elements of the ISDS under CETA are included in the IPA with Vietnam, which is an additional stepping stone towards the establishment of a multilateral investment court.

Finally, in conclusion, could I say that, by voting in favour of this free trade agreement, you are voting in favour of a deal that will give us the political and institutional influence and the proper structures to make improvements on issues like human rights, like labour rights, like climate change and like environment policies. By voting ‘no’ you are consigning our influence to resolutions and letters that may or may not be taken into account and will most probably be ignored.

This agreement puts the EU and Vietnam together in a political structure and enforcement mechanisms that will deliver common objectives, in particular in the policy areas that have been mentioned in this House. I know that many of these issues have been of concern for many years. Now we have a structured way in which we can deal with these issues. So it is time to be positive, to acknowledge that the EU stands together with the people of Vietnam, and vote positively for this deal.


  Geert Bourgeois, Rapporteur. – Mr President, at the end of the debate, first I want to thank my colleagues in the Committee on International Trade (INTA), the shadow rapporteurs, and especially our Chair, Mr Lange. I want to thank my predecessor, the former rapporteur Jan Zahradil, and I would also like to thank Commissioner Hogan for our good cooperation and for rightfully underlining the importance of this trade and investment agreement with Vietnam. I totally agree with your conclusion, Mr Hogan, and I take note of your clear commitment to oversee all aspects relevant for the implementation of the agreement and the continuous assistance of the Commission in order to help Vietnam pursue its reform process and to lend the country the financial and technical aid necessary to achieve its goals.

I would like to thank colleagues for all their valuable contributions. Most of the points of concern raised during this debate were also my concerns. However, I think we have sufficiently addressed most of the concerns during our preparatory work. I believe these agreements will serve as an effective instrument to promote fundamental values and create a more level playing field.

Vietnam has committed to a series of important measures, and I agree with you, Mr Lange: thanks to the clear political messages of this Parliament, I’m happy to say that during the negotiation process ahead of this debate and during my own interactions, the Vietnamese Government has demonstrated a trustworthy and clear political will to deliver on important issues. The role of the European Parliament was, and is, essential in this respect. We will continue to closely follow up on the proceedings of the independent organisations taking part in the domestic advisory groups. After ratification, we are also looking forward to strengthening political dialogue with our Vietnamese colleagues through the establishment of a joint parliamentary cooperation framework. We will also look into the proposal of associating our colleagues on the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) to the already existing annual human rights dialogue.

Vietnam is a country in transformation. I believe these agreements will further contribute to the improvement of its prosperity, labour, human rights and living standards. The EU needs to support this aim fully in order to bring forward this positive agenda for change in Vietnam, and therefore I passionately call upon all my colleagues in this House to vote tomorrow in favour of the consent for both agreements, so that the EU can take up its role as a geopolitical actor in the region and show Vietnam that we are a genuine and reliable partner today and for the future.


  Die Präsidentin. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet am Mittwoch, 12. Februar 2020, statt.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)


  Dominique Bilde (ID), par écrit. – Pendant que Donald Trump élague les facilités accordées à des partenaires soi-disant en développement – la Chine n’en est-elle pas un du point de vue de l’OMC ? – l’Union européenne s’enfonce dans un suicide économique dont les résultats désastreux sont toujours plus apparents.

Sans discernement dans l’octroi des préférences généralisées, dont le Viêt Nam bénéficie, elle aura été tout aussi inepte dans les négociations commerciales. Les échanges avec ce pays devaient pourtant la placer en position de force. Il n’en est rien. Un exemple cocasse le démontre: alors que l’Union européenne reconnaît 39 IGP vietnamiennes, le Viêt Nam n’en reconnaîtrait que 36 françaises, dont le champagne – avec une période transitoire de dix ans!

L’accord n’est évidemment pas une bonne nouvelle en matière de droits de l’homme. Outre la liberté syndicale, en 2012, 1,75 million de Vietnamiens âgés de 5 à 17 ans étaient toujours concernés par le travail des enfants. Quant à nos industries – notamment le textile, historiquement implanté dans le Grand Est – elles paieront par une nouvelle saignée cette course au moins-disant social, les salaires vietnamiens plafonnant à 59 % des salaires chinois, ce qui explique vraisemblablement l’empressement déployé pour conclure cet accord.


  Robert Hajšel (S&D), písomne. – Vietnam je dynamicky sa rozvíjajúcou krajinou juhovýchodnej Ázie, ktorá má pre obchodné vzťahy EÚ so štátmi ASEAN strategický význam. Navyše, vláda tohto ázijského tigra podporuje multilaterálny prístup k medzinárodnému obchodu a Vietnam na rozdiel od niektorých iných štátov prijal na seba aj záväzky v boji proti klimatickým zmenám, čím je pre nás spojencom aj v dekarbonizácii, kde chce byť EÚ svetovým lídrom. Schválením štyroch rezolúcií týkajúcich sa ratifikácie dohôd o voľnom obchode a ochrane investícií sa úroveň našich vzťahov posunie ďalej, poslúži ako páka pre ďalší rozvoj, ako aj pre ďalšiu demokratizáciu politických pomerov v krajine. Mnohí z radov europoslancov, ako aj mimovládnych organizácií vyčítajú Vietnamu nízku úroveň ochrany ľudských práv a pracovného práva, ale aj v týchto oblastiach urobil Hanoj nepopierateľný pokrok. Nedávno sa Vietnam pripojil k ďalším dohovorom v rámci Medzinárodnej organizácie práce a uskutočnil reformu pracovného práva. Ďalší pokrok sa očakáva v oblasti zabezpečenia práva na kolektívne vyjednávanie. Vietnam musí vyvinúť ďalšie úsilie v zabezpečení základných ľudských práv a slobôd, najmä pokiaľ ide o právo prejavu a zhromažďovania sa. EÚ a jej inštitúcie nemôžu nad nedostatočným stavom v tejto oblasti zatvárať oči, ale ratifikácia dohôd je isto nielen na prospech obchodu, ale aj kvality života vietnamského ľudu.


  Urmas Paet (Renew), kirjalikult. – ELi-Vietnami vabakaubandusleping loob uusi võimalusi nii Eesti ja ELi kui ka Vietnami jaoks. Lisaks omab see ka märksa laiemat tähendust, sest ajal, mil mitmepoolsetel eeskirjadel põhinev kaubandus on kahtluse alla seatud, tugevdab Euroopa Liit suhteid Aasiaga (varem on juba sõlmitud sarnased lepingud Singapuri ja Jaapaniga). See annab ülejäänud maailmale ja eriti just protektsionistlikele suundadele signaali, et EL on konstruktiivsele rahvusvahelisele koostööle avatud. ELi ja Vietnami vabakaubandusleping on kõige terviklikum ja ambitsioonikam sedalaadi kokkulepe, mis on kunagi ELi ja arenguriigi vahel sõlmitud. Vietnamis elab peaaegu 100 miljonit inimest ning see on üks kiireima majanduskasvuga Kagu-Aasia Maade Assotsiatsiooni ehk ASEANi riike. Lepinguga kaotatakse kümne aasta jooksul peaaegu kõik Vietnami ja ELi vahelised tariifid, kaitstes samas sümboolse tähendusega Euroopa tooteid ja võimaldades Euroopa ettevõtjatele juurdepääsu Vietnami riigihanketurule. ELi peamine import Vietnamist hõlmab telekommunikatsiooniseadmeid, rõivaid ja toiduaineid. Vietnamisse eksporditakse EList peamiselt masinaid ja transpordivahendeid, kemikaale ja põllumajandustooteid. Veel annab leping jõustumisel ELile suurema võimaluse avaldada Vietnamile mõju inimõiguste ja keskkonnaga seotud küsimustes. Vabakaubandusleping hõlmab kohustust kaitsta töötajate põhiõigusi, elanike inimõigusi laiemalt ja keskkonda.


  Valdemar Tomaševski (ECR), raštu. – Susitarimas dėl laisvosios prekybos su Vietnamu yra šansas visam Europos Sąjungos ūkiui padidinti naujų prekybos rinkų kiekį ES prekėms. Susitarimas taip pat sudaro ES prekybinių santykių su kylančiais ūkiais modelį. Modelis, pagal kurį vedame derybas kaip partneriai vienodomis sąlygomis ir dalijamės ekonomikos augimo ir užimtumo skatinimo, konkurencingumo palaikymo, kovos su skurdu ir konsolidavimo struktūrinių reformų programa. Vietnamas yra augančios, konkurencingos ir susietos ekonomikos šalis, turinti beveik 100 mln. piliečių, augantį vidurinįjį sluoksnį ir jauną bei dinamišką darbo jėgą. Vietnamas taip pat yra viena iš sparčiausiai augančių ASEAN šalių – jo vidutinis BVP augimo rodiklis 2000–2018 m. buvo apie 6,51 %. Vietnamas taip pat yra viena iš labiausiai atvirų ir į laisvąją prekybą orientuotų ekonomikos šalių regione. Susitarimas dėl laisvosios prekybos padės atverti naujas ekonomikos augimo ir vystymosi galimybes abiem šalims, nes pavyzdžiui, bus gerokai sumažinti muitai ES produktams, įskaitant automobilius, automobilių dalis, mašinas ir naminius paukščius, bet tuo pačiu metu bus saugomi ypač jautrūs sektoriai. Šiuo metu ES yra didžiausia Vietnamo prekybos partnerė po Kinijos ir antra pagal dydį eksporto rinka po JAV. Vertėtų šitą tendenciją išlaikyti ir ateityje.


  Monika Vana (Verts/ALE), schriftlich. – Wir Grünen lehnen sowohl das Handels- als auch das Investitionsschutzabkommen mit Vietnam ab. Es handelt sich dabei um „Abkommen der alten Schule“ mit Sonderrechten für Investoren und ohne einklagbare Umwelt- und Sozialstandards. Die EU vergibt mit diesem Handelsabkommen die Chance, sich aktiv für Menschenrechte und Umwelt entlang der globalen Produktionsketten einzusetzen, obwohl das Europäische Parlament am 15.1.2020 in der Entschließung zum European Green Deal die EU-Kommission dazu aufgefordert hat. In Vietnam beobachten wir Menschenrechtsverstöße und Repressionen gegenüber organisierten Arbeitnehmern und Arbeitnehmerinnen. Wir brauchen endlich einen Paradigmenwechsel in der europäischen Handelspolitik. Die EU-Kommission muss den European Green Deal in zukünftigen Handelsabkommen umsetzen!


(Die Sitzung wird um 12.41 Uhr unterbrochen)



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