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No more helping dictators with products that could be used to violate human rights, say S&Ds

Date

29 Sep 2016

Sections

Justice & Home Affairs
Trade & Society

The European Commission today finally proposed a reform of the EU’s trade rules on exporting products that can be used for military, torture or surveillance purposes. The Socialists and Democrats have been calling for this proposal for two years now and will try to get it through the Parliament with the necessary improvements so that it can come into force as soon as possible.
 
S&D spokesperson on trade, David Martin MEP, said:
 
“It’s a rough time for democrats and freedom fighters in many places in the world. We don’t want to contribute in any way to helping dictators control and harass their own people. This is why it is urgent to update EU law on the export of dual-use goods and technology.
 
“Information and communication technology, as well as surveillance software must be brought under controls. We know that in the past software has been used to tap phone conversations, to monitor the activities and communications of human-rights activists and trace their locations. We don’t want European products and services to contribute to this in any way.
 
“The EU’s trade policy must live up to its values and contribute to the promotion of human dignity, democracy, human rights and individual freedoms. A values-based trade policy is a key aspect of the new Commission’s trade strategy that we strongly support."

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