STRASBOURG, France – The European Parliament requested a bigger commitment from Peru and Colombia on human rights before giving its consent to a free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and the two Andean countries.
“Trade is not an end in itself. We believe it should be used to promote positive change in society,” said Bernd Lange, S&D spokesperson on international trade and co-author of the resolution passed by the plenary of the European Parliament. “The Parliament must use its leverage to push for higher standards, and this is what we achieved today. We called on both countries to establish a transparent and binding roadmap on human, environmental and labor rights.”
S&D vice-president Véronique de Keyser said: “We have already established a very constructive dialogue with Colombia and Peru. A good example is the EU-Colombia mechanism for human rights, but we are still worried about the high numbers of trade unionists being killed, especially in Colombia. This trend is decreasing, which is positive, but we must remain vigilant.”
The vote on the overall trade agreement by the plenary will take place once the negotiations on the roadmap are concluded, most probably in October.