Parliamentary question - O-000098/2017Parliamentary question

Trade and sustainable development chapters in EU trade agreements

Question for oral answer O-000098/2017
to the Commission
Rule 128
Bernd Lange, on behalf of the Committee on International Trade

Procedure : 2017/2988(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
O-000098/2017 (B8-0617/2017)
Votes :
Texts adopted :

The EU is committed to respecting human rights, workers’ rights and environmental standards in its trade policy. The EU Treaties therefore require all relevant EU policies, including trade policy, to promote sustainable development in our trade agreements, which can be achieved through strong provisions set out in the trade and sustainable development (TSD) chapters. In order to ensure more coherent, ambitious and effective TSD chapters in future Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), we welcome the fact that the Commission has launched a debate on how such measures can be improved.

1. The Commission has put forward two approaches for consideration: a more assertive approach to TSD and a sanctions-based approach. How will these approaches take into account wider issues affecting labour and environmental standards to improve the effectiveness of the provisions contained in TSD chapters? What other approaches and policy instruments is the Commission considering?

2. How does the Commission intend to further address shortcomings in civil society monitoring mechanisms, which have identified problems in partner countries which may, for example, renege on TSD commitments after an FTA enters into force?

3. Will the Commission present Parliament with draft texts, for example, in relation to public submissions and the effective enforcement of labour and environmental laws and international obligations, notably on commitments related to the core ILO Conventions and relevant multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), including the Paris Agreement? What revision processes have been foreseen for existing agreements?

4. Does the Commission envisage carrying out an impact assessment, a public consultation or a public discussion in the framework of this exercise? How will the discussion process among institutions be structured?