The European Parliament today voted to endorse an EU free trade agreement with Colombia and Peru. The Greens voted against giving consent, citing major concerns with human rights and financial sector liberalisation, and expressed regret with the outcome, with Green trade spokesperson Ska Keller stating:
"MEPs have today turned a blind eye to serious human rights concerns by endorsing the EU trade deal with Colombia and Peru. Coming only a day after the EU accepted the Nobel prize, this regrettable vote is all the more hypocritical.
"Representatives of civil society and trades unions have raised concerns that the FTA would negatively impact on the development of the two Latin American countries and worsen human rights. In concluding the agreement, the EU is ignoring major human rights concerns, notably in Colombia, the most dangerous country in the world to be a trade union member. Sadly, S&D MEPs were willing to accept a non-binding roadmap on human rights in return for their support in spite of the fact this roadmap will do little to address the human rights problems on the ground in Colombia and Peru.
"On top of human rights concerns, the provisions on liberalisation in the agreement will also have a negative impact on sustainable development and the fight against poverty. In the middle of a financial crisis, caused in part by lax regulation, it is absurd to insist on the deregulation of the finance sector, as foreseen under the agreement: increasing derivatives and other risky products, with no provisions on stronger oversight or capital controls. Money laundering will be made easier by this agreement."