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EU trade policy and Human Rights Anya ORAM Human Rights Coordinator – DG TRADE Gosia GORSKA Policy Officer, Human Rights Dept. - EEAS.

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Presentation on theme: "EU trade policy and Human Rights Anya ORAM Human Rights Coordinator – DG TRADE Gosia GORSKA Policy Officer, Human Rights Dept. - EEAS."— Presentation transcript:

1 EU trade policy and Human Rights Anya ORAM Human Rights Coordinator – DG TRADE Gosia GORSKA Policy Officer, Human Rights Dept. - EEAS

2 Overview of Presentation Human Rights in EU external action –Legal Basis –Joint Communication of Dec 2011 Trade and human rights –Basic Approach –Current instruments –Tools –Finding the appropriate response Challenges and Next steps

3 Legal Basis Art. 21(1) TEU The Unions action on the international scene shall be guided by the principles which have inspired its own creation … and which it seeks to advance in the wider world; democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, the principles of equality and solidarity, and respect for the principles of the UN Charter and international law … Art. 207(1) TFU The common commercial policy shall be conducted in the context of the principles and objectives of the Unions external action. should NOT have a negative impact on human rights (HR) should seek to promote HR

4 Joint Communication: Human Rights and Democracy at the Heart of EU External Action COM(2011)886 Tailor-made approaches to maximise impact on the ground Integration of human rights into other policies Building partnerships Harnessing Europes collective weight

5 Human Rights country strategies Main element of the new tailor-made approach Establish country priorities Must ensure links with other policies, including trade Developed locally by EU Delegation and MS Embassies, approved by Council of Ministers Trade-related human rights issues covered: Ratification and implementation of ILO Conventions Specific issues, e.g. trade unions, child labour, forced labour, business and human rights, food security, right to health

6 COM(2011)886 – on trade & HR EU agenda/approach should be: –Coherent –Transparent –Predictable –Feasible –Effective Prior to launch or conclusion of FTA negotiations, HR situation of the partner country to be considered.

7 Basic approach - defending/promoting HR Positive incentives (trade preferences) coupled with: –cooperation, dialogue and transparency –conditions to qualify for and maintain preferences. Restrictive/Specific Measures where appropriate/necessary.

8 Current Instruments GSP (all three schemes) FTAs and related Framework/Association Agreements

9 Human Rights Clause - general Respect for democratic principles and human rights, as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant international human rights instruments, and for the principle of the rule of law, underpins the internal and international policies of both Parties and constitutes an essential element of this Agreement. (emphasis added)

10 Human Rights Clause contd. Standard in framework agreements since 1995 Coupled with suspension clause Difficult to negotiate Difficult to implement 2009 Council guidelines on use in trade agreements

11 External Trade Current Instruments contd. Specific measures (product/industry specific): Reg. 1236/2005 (instruments of torture) Reg. 428/2009 (dual use goods) Code of Conduct on Arms Exports Kimberley process Specific measures (country specific) 2004 Basic Principles on use of Restrictive Measures

12 Basic approach – do no harm Minimize risk of negative effects –IA and SIA –Design instruments appropriately –Complementary measures Identify –Monitor – everyone has a role to play Remediate –Mitigating measures –Review of instrument

13 Current Tools Impact Assessments/SIAs (quid HRIAs?) Monitoring mechanisms/ Role of civil society Link with political/HR dialogues Link with development assistance

14 Impact Assessments/SIAs Impact Assessment –Obligatory. Written by COM –Prior to launch –One assessment for all impacts –MUST take account of impact on human rights Ex-post Impact Assessment SIA –Tool to guide negotiators. Contracted out –Asap once negotiating mandate granted –COM commitment to reinforce SIAs

15 Current Tools contd. Monitoring mechanisms/ Role of civil society Link with political/HR dialogues Link with development assistance

16 Finding the appropriate response Are trade measures the most appropriate policy response to address a particular situation? Will behaviour be changed? Mitigating risk of damaging those the EU seeks to protect.

17 Whats in our in-trays? How to make trade work in a way that helps rather than hinders respects of human rights? More effective policy coherence; Revision of the GSP; Report on trade and the worst forms of child labour; ISCG on forced prison labour;

18 Whats in our in-trays contd.? Reinforcing impact assessments and SIAs, ex-post impact assessments; Amendment of torture and dual-use Regulations Benchmarks for triggering the essential elements clause; Putting Ruggie and the OECD Guidelines for MNEs into practice.

19 Thank you Q+A Discussion


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