EU-FTAs with Columbia and Peru: Do not treat Human Rights and Rural Exodus as a minor matter

Date

12 Feb 2018

Sections

Development Policy
Global Europe

Press release

Brussels/Bogotá/Lima, 12 February 2018

Yesterday (Sunday) Helmut Scholz (DIE LINKE.), Member of the European Parliament and GUE/NGL’s coordinator for trade policy, traveled first to Colombia, and continues to Peru on Wednesday. The focus of the official EP-delegation of the EP Trade Committee INTA, lies on the EU's comprehensive trade agreement with Colombia and Peru, to which Ecuador joined recently. The EP Trade Committee is responsible for monitoring the implementation of trade agreements. As the trade expert of the EP left group, Helmut Scholz commented ahead of the journey:

"In this still very young year 2018, already 27 trade unionists and human rights activists have been murdered in Colombia. This is an incredible number that cannot be accepted, which is why the question of human rights will be at the core of our observations. The official delegation of the EP Trade Committee will hold its first talks in Bogotá as well as a few days later in Lima with representatives of civil society: What is the situation like for the trade unions and the environmental organizations in the two countries? Will the roadmap agreed upon with the EU on implementing safeguard measures and improving the human rights situation be respected or will the agreement be broken? I will address my questions also to the respective ministers of the Colombian government."

"Further, I will urge that small farmers will be integrated into the meetings of the EP delegation with representatives of the agricultural sector, since their livelihoods under the agreement with the EU - which was concluded at the same time as that with the US - faces particularly intense competition. The social and environmental consequences of the trade agreement will also play an essential role in our discussions with the foreign ministries of the two countries and, above all, in discussions with Juan Manuel Santos, the President of Colombia, and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, the President of Peru. Further information is expected from meetings with representatives of the Externado University and representatives of the Colombian Congress."

"I will also have bilateral meetings for an exchange of views on the assessment of the peace process, including with Rodruigo Revera, Colombia's High Representative for Peace.

Please find the program of the five-day trip (until 16 February) attached. Helmut Scholz will be back in Brussels on 19 February and will be available for further questions.

Contact
Office of Helmut Scholz
Member of the European Parliament
0032 228 45893
helmut.scholz@ep.europa.eu
helmutscholz.eu
@HelmutScholzMEP

DIE LINKE. in the European Parliament
Contact Press:

Karim Khattab
+32 228 43 086
+32 470 64 80 58 (Belgium)
+49 151 72 82 56 40 (Germany)
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group
www.dielinke-europa.eu
@khk_EU