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Suspension of the Doha Round

Regrettable suspension of the Doha Round should be capitalised on to rethink the entire Doha concept of sustainable development

Developing countries have realised that the Round offers almost nothing in development terms for most of them, while emerging countries have realised that an opening of their markets across the board would threaten their infant industries. At the same time, European Union Member States have realised that the opening of their agricultural markets threatens the functioning of a multifunctional European agriculture. All of them have realised that the world changed dramatically in trade terms following the entry of China into the WTO.

This was already clear the last time ministers of WTO Member States met in December 2005 in Hong Kong. It was somewhat surprising that the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference was convened at all and, particularly, that WTO Director Pascal Lamy managed to get the meeting to agree on a final text.

Greens/EFA group Members of Parliament attended the WTO Ministerial Conference "welcoming the slow down of the negotiations in Hong Kong as an opportunity to thoroughly revise the very premise of the Doha Agenda to foster sustainable development through trade liberalisation, before negotiations on the DDA continue."

The Green Statement of December 2005 (pdf) laid out what a positive outcome of the Doha Round must look like to find the support of the Greens / EFA.  

We regret that the Doha Round negotiations are presently suspended and ask the EU and all WTO members to defend a multilateral approach of trade rules. However, we still believe that it would be better for the Doha Round to slow down and take its time in order to come to a result which is compatible with sustainable development and meet with the approval of all WTO participants. We still think that no deal is better than a bad deal.

See Greens / EFA motion for a resolution on WTO Suspension, Plenary September 2006


© Christian Kaufmann
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