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WTO Banana Agreement: EP gives green light to global deal. Laima Andrikienė MEP


03 Feb 2011


Trade & Society

"The European Parliament has finally given its consent to this very important deal which will bring an almost 20-year old international trade dispute to an end", said Laima Andrikienė MEP, EPP Group Spokeswoman on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Banana Agreement.

The global banana deal reached within the WTO last year was voted in the European Parliament today. This Agreement will oblige the EU to lower tariffs for imported bananas from Latin American countries from the current level of €176 per tonne to €114 per tonne before 2017.

Laima Andrikienė welcomed the overall trend of liberalisation of the global trade in bananas, including the current WTO Agreement as well as bilateral agreements with the Central American and Andean countries. However, she noted that while moving towards greater liberalisation of global trade in bananas, "we should, at the same time, make sure that we do not wipe out industries or sectors that have traditionally played important economic and social roles in certain European regions, such as the Canary Islands, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Madeira, the Azores and others."

"The European Parliament's Resolution on the issue as it stands is a well-balanced one, especially since we have taken into account the interests of our partners from the ACP countries, as well as local European banana producers", stressed Laima Andrikienė.

"We hope the Commission will take these concerns into account and will take steps to adjust the support package for domestic EU producers earmarked in the POSEI envelope and take other steps in order to ensure that in parallel to the trend of the liberalisation of global trade in bananas, domestic EU producers are able to remain on the market and foster their traditional activities", she said. She pointed out that a good opportunity to make such an adjustment will be during the discussions on the next EU financial perspective.

For further information:
Laima Liucija ANDRIKIENĖ MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845858
Giedrė Uzdilaitė, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, Tel: +32-474 942022

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 265 Members.