European Parliament Asked To Back Trade Justice At WTO

12 December 2005
A written declaration calling for Trade Justice at this week's WTO has been launched today in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The declaration has been lodged by Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith with the support of Scottish members of the Trade Justice Movement. Mr Smith is asking all MEPs to show their support for Trade Justice by signing the declaration. Speaking from Strasbourg Mr Smith said

"The outlook for this week's negotiations in Hong Kong looks increasingly negative.

"After all the public pressure on politicians this year and all the hard work put into highlighting trade, debt and aid issues by NGOs it would be tragic if the WTO can not agree a package that helps rather than hinders developing countries.

"Scotland has had a key role to play this year with the G8, the Make Poverty History demonstration and the EU-Africa, Caribbean, Pacific conference. Scotland has helped promote the debate and Scots want to see a successful outcome.

"This is the last chance politicians have to show that this year of action has changed their attitude and that they can see that playing fair with developing countries is in their self-interest.

"The declaration - if it wins the backing of enough MEPs - could become European Parliament policy and would be a clear statement to the Commission and the member states that we are serious about these issues and that the public have had enough. It is time for action and it is time to change the way developed countries behave in the global marketplace.

The written declaration calls on the Commission to

  • Endorse the "no forced liberalisation" position in non- agricultural trade negotiations and to support increased market access without forcing reciprocal free trade
  • Allow developing countries to decide their own trade policies
  • Support fairer trade between developing nations and the EU
  • Not to support benchmarks and common baselines in GATS negotiations
  • To pressure the World Bank and IMF not to impose trade conditions on poor countries