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Europaparalamentet röstar för konsumentskydd i WTO

Nedan följer en rapport från omröstningen Europaparlamentet om WTO.


  1. Parlamentet ställer sig bakom kommissionens önskan att påbörja en ny förhandlingsrunda;
  2. Parlamentet vill ha med konsumentskydd, miljöskydd, u-ländernas behov m m i en sådan runda;
  3. Försiktighetsprincipen och livsmedelsmärkning betonas och hållbart jordbruk samt djurskydd ska få stöd;
  4. Inga tjänsteförhandlingar på bl a hälso- och utbildningsområdet;
  5. Inga patent på liv.


EU-kommissionen vill liksom USAs president ha mandat att sköta WTO-förhandlingarna utan inblanding från Europaparlamentet. I USA kallas detta "fast track" eftersom det gör att presidenten kan lägga fram ett komplett förslag på handelsområdet som kongressen bara kan rösta ja eller nej till, och inte gå in och ändra. EU-kommissionen försöker få samma typ av mandat genom Nice-fördraget i den nya skrivelsen av Artikel 133. Det är inte bra om kommissionen ska få fatta viktiga beslut om handelsfrågor utan att den demokratiska processen och det civila samhället kan påverka besluten. Vi hoppas också att EU-kommissionen verkligen tar parlamentets omröstning på allvar och verkar för att konsumentskyddet stärks i WTO.



Strasbourg, 14/03/2001 (Agence Europe)

By adopting, with 335 in favour, 45 against and 42 abstentions, the report by German ChristianDemocrat Konrad Schwaige on its recommendations to the Commission in view of the next WTO round of negotiations, the European Parliament backs the efforts of the Community Executive aimed at opening a new broad round of negotiations, taking further account of the conditions of sustainable development, environmental and consumer protection, the needs of developing countries and public concerns over the world trade system. Here are Parliament's main recommendations regarding:

  1. Agriculture:
  2. the EP reaffirms that Agenda 2000 must serve as frame for the European Union's stance and "stresses that it is important to fund projects providing for the transition to sustainable farming and favourable to the environment, as well as animal wellbeing" (PES amendment). It places emphasis on the introduction of the precautionary principle and considers that the EU has to defend the right of developing countries, especially the LDCs, of guaranteeing their food autonomy and the survival of small holdings, notably protecting themselves against imports that harm the latter (GUEINGL amendment). Finally, WTO rules must not unreasonably limit provisions relating to voluntary or compulsory labelling systems aimed at guaranteeing better consumer information.

  3. Services:
  4. the EP backs the Commission's efforts aimed at achieving gradual liberalisation and urges the Commission to place emphasis, in negotiations, of the fact that the reduction in exemptions to the most favoured nation treatment and the opening of in increased number of services sectors, do not concern the organisation of public services in areas such as education, health, culture, local public transport, transport control and safety (GUE/NGI amendment).

  5. Intellectual property:
  6. the EP is especially in favour of the creation of a multilateral register of geographic names of origin and calls for a broad revision of the TRIPS in view of removing obstacles to the transfer of knowledge to developing countries, of strengthening and clarifying provisions on access to medicines, so that vital medicines are available cheaply in developing countries, and so that WTO provisions comply with the convention relating on biodiversity (PES amendment). It urges the Commission to place emphasis on account being taken of the interests of developing countries regarding their biological heritage, as well as the interests of the indigenous populations. It calls (240 in favour, 226 against and 5 abstentions) for the EU to support the exclusion of animals, plants and microorganisms, as well as biological and microbiological processes, from the possibility of being patented (GUE/NGL amendment).

  7. Institutional aspects:
  8. the EP pleads in favour of democratic control of the WTO.

    During the debate, Commissioner Pascal Lamy stressed that Parliament and the Commission shared the same goals: surround trade liberalisation with a set of multilateral rules; ensure greater transparency in WTO mechanisms; improve the integration of developing countries in the multilateral system; preserve the European model in the fields of agriculture and public health; . "On agriculture, no disagreement with you", he said, noting that "it certainly is Agenda 2000 that today frames the Union's negotiating position" and that "the promotion of noncommercial considerations regarding agriculture and the preservation of our own model offarming remain key elements in our negotiating goals".

    Turning to the "nonaggression pact" that "is a benefit to all" by removing the agricultural realm from the disputes over subsidies until end 2003, Mr. Lamy declared: "The peace clause is no sword of Damocles hanging over a single head that would be Europe's; if it is a Sword of Damocles, it hangs over several heads around the negotiating table in Geneva".

    Regarding services, he said that "we fully agree with your recommendation on the special nature of the provision of public services" and that agreements concluded or to be concluded commit the EU to a path of privatization and deregulation. As for access to medicines in developing countries, Lamy recalled that there were cases where exemptions to patenting legislation were provided for by the agreement on intellectual property: it is called compulsory licences. "On this issue, our stance is the one I've been stating publicly for several weeks,' the whole agreement, nothing but the agreement" he added.

    Answering a question on his recent trip to the United States, Mr. Lamy said: "I've returned with a rather positive feeling on the part of the Administration, but with this obvious fact that the United States' trade policy depends more on Congress than on the Administration".

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