EU parliament prepares to approve trade accords with Central America, Peru and Colombia
Spanish members of the European parliament and Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht called on Tuesday on the full house to ratify the association agreement of the EU with Central America, and the EU free trade agreement with Colombia and Peru.
“All the concluded trade agreements will help with the economic recovery of Europe” said De Gucht who recalled that foreign trade represents 0.6% of EU GDP growth, so that without trade “we would be in a recession”.
“Even if the agreements with Central America and Colombia and Peru do not refer to the major markets of Europe, they will nevertheless contribute to recovery and that is what is important”, added De Gucht.
Likewise conservative European lawmaker Jose Ignacio Salafranca who presented the report on the accord with Central America, also asked for the vote for the two treaties.
In the case of Central America it is the first agreement of the EU with a regional block and will allow the included countries to enjoy the ‘premier league’ of trade accords which Europe has with third countries, while those of Peru and Colombia means “betting on the future” and leaving the door open for Bolivia and Ecuador, if at some point they wish to join”, added the Spanish Euro MP.
De Gucht and Salafranca recalled that the agreement with Central America is based on three pillars: political dialogue; cooperation and trade which include a clause to guarantee respect for human rights. Negotiations with Central America and with Peru and Colombia concluded in 2010 and are ready to be ratified by the EU parliament.
Two other Spanish Euro MPs, Conservative Pablo Zalba and Socialist Luis Yañez Barrionuevo strongly defended support for the agreements arguing they will help with social cohesion and diversify the production sectors of those countries.
However Green Party MEP Ulrike Lunacek said that the agreement does not promote a more fair society and does not help the indigenous population, the poor or the women, and thus both agreements “are not up to standard”.
Likewise her colleague MEP Catherine Gréze anticipated ‘nothing good’ out of the accords since they only develop economic inequality and described the Central America example as a ‘catastrophe’ for agriculture.