Press Releases S&Ds Group: Trade policy review: Lange and Van Brempt urge Commission and ministers to give climate goals and labour rights teeth

S&Ds Group: Trade policy review: Lange and Van Brempt urge Commission and ministers to give climate goals and labour rights teeth

Tomorrow, the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee is set to formally adopt the Parliament’s input into the EU’s trade policy review. The Socialists and Democrats are campaigning for a more progressive and forward-looking EU trade policy, in line with the Green Deal and with labour and human rights. To make climate goals, corporate due diligence and workers’ rights a reality, the enforcement of trade and sustainable development provisions must be strengthened and even include sanction-based mechanisms, say the S&Ds.

Bernd Lange MEP, author of the parliamentary report and chair of the international trade committee, said:

“We need a re-set in our trade policy, especially now that the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed its shortcomings and resulting vulnerabilities. To steer the European Commission in the right direction, we have put forward progressive guidelines for a trade policy that is not solely focused on the challenges of the past, but looks at the present and future. We must ensure that the EU acts in a way that is sustainable, resilient and assertive.”

Kathleen Van Brempt MEP, S&D spokesperson on trade, said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic is only the latest in a series of dramatic crises afflicting our societies, like the climate emergency or growing inequalities. More and more people agree that we have to change the way we work, produce and consume – and also how we do trade. Our Socialist and Democrat priorities for this policy change are clear. With the Green Deal we Europeans have agreed that we want to live in a sustainable, inclusive, fair and socially just world and we have also agreed on the path to get there. These priorities must also be reflected in our trade policy and all future trade deals. To give climate goals and labour rights teeth, trade and sustainable development provisions must become enforceable and even include sanction-based mechanisms. We urge the Commission and ministers to meet today’s unprecedented challenges with courage and innovation, and turn the EU’s trade policy into a tool to build a good future.”

Note to the editor 

On 16 June 2020, the European Commission launched a major review of the EU’s trade policy. The review was brought forward from 2021 in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on trade.  The Commission is expected to adopt its communication on the review by December 2020. Trade ministers are discussing this review during their meeting today. The report EU Trade Policy Review is the European Parliament’s contribution to the process.

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