The European Parliament today voted on proposals to revise EU trade rules, focusing on provisions to prevent the trade in goods which could be used for torture or capital punishment. The vote will set out the parliament's position ahead of negotiations with EU governments on finalising the legislation. Commenting after the vote, Green human rights spokesperson Barbara Lochbihler said:
"MEPs have today voted to close loopholes in EU rules on the trade in security equipment, with a view to preventing the trade in equipment which can be used for torture or executions. The Greens proposed and pushed for most of the key provisions to prevent the trade in torture equipment and welcomed the vote, which will provide the basis for negotiations with EU governments on finalising the legislation.
"Among the crucial provisions adopted by the European Parliament are a clause ensuring mandatory exchange of information and reporting by EU member states and the Commission. MEPs also supported a ban on the transit and brokering of this brutal equipment and a crucial 'catch-all clause' enabling national controls on any trade deals with dubious end-users.
"This would be a key step for ensuring the EU is not contributing to inhumane practises in third countries, which are totally at odds with EU values, and ensuring trade policy promotes those values, guided by human rights. We now hope EU governments support the provisions adopted by the Parliament and will push for this in the legislative negotiations. European individuals and companies should stop benefiting from the barbaric global business of torture and executions."