Human Rights and coherent trade policy are not mutually exclusive
A clear majority of MEPs today adopted a legislative report which revises EU trade rules, focusing on provisions to prevent the trade in goods that could be used for torture or capital punishment. Greens/EFA MEPs have been instrumental in ensuring this revision, which includes clear and robust provisions. These include:
- prohibiting transit through the EU for goods that are intended for torture or the death penalty in third countries;
- a ban on the advertisement and marketing of prohibited equipment at trade fairs and exhibitions in the EU; and
- the new "urgency procedure" which will make it quicker and easier for the European Commission to add new items to the list of prohibited or controlled goods.
Greens/EFA foreign affairs and human rights spokesperson and rapporteur for the Subcommittee on Human Rights Barbara Lochbihler commented:
"The European Parliament has today clearly demonstrated that human rights and a coherent trade policy are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, the two can be achieved together, provided there is the necessary political will.
"We cannot continue to allow companies to export supposedly safe goods from the European Union, when they are then used in third countries for torture and capital punishment. The amendments to the regulation were long overdue and the EU and the Member States must now make sure they are implemented quickly and consistently. We are still a long way from a world without torture and the death penalty, but today’s decision helps take us one step closer."