For a progressive trade policy

S&D MEPs are the driving force of progressive trade policy in the EU. With a progressive trade policy, our MEPs work to build a more transparent, democratic global trade system that benefits the many and not the few.

Our work on international trade

Our MEPs on the International Trade Committee scrutinise trade deals between the EU and third countries. When left to others, trade agreements can risk lowering standards. With the right approach, the S&D Group view trade deals as an opportunity to protect and strengthen our high labour and environmental standards and our way of life for the future

Our achievements

In the EU-Canada comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA), the Socialists and Democrats secured agreements on many progressive priorities.

We led the drive to settle trade disputes in a transparent and fair way. Now the private arbitration system has been replaced by the investment court system. Instead of decisions being made solely by lawyers, they will be made by highly-qualified judges. Instead of meetings behind closed doors, the proceedings will be more transparent and the rulings subject to review.

We defended governments' rights to regulate and legislate in the public interest. With CETA there will be no lowering of our EU standards: they will always apply as the absolute minimum. Public services will not be touched and workers' rights will be protected. In future trade agreements there will be no going back on the progressive achievements we achieved in CETA.

Our priorities

We want to define new rules for globalisation and spread the benefits of trade more widely. Globalisation needs fair rules to make sure that everyone benefits.

Negotiating fair trade deals

We can work together at a European level and with progressive partners around the world. The EU is a trade giant. If the EU uses its influence to the full we can negotiate fair and progressive trade relations and fight unfair practices like dumping that undermine European jobs.

Strengthening social and environmental standards in trade

We need rules to ensure that trade is not only free but also fair. Our European environmental, social, labour and democratic standards must always apply as the absolute minimum in any trade agreement. There are already some global labour and environmental standards but they must be strengthened and sanctions must be enforced if they are not met.

Setting international standards

We can improve worker's rights and human rights and strengthen the fight against climate change around the world by looking at the whole global value chain. Corporate social responsibility must be strengthened through mandatory due diligence.

Protecting jobs

Protecting European jobs by fighting unfair dumping policies must be a priority. We are in favour of stronger trade defence tools to tackle dumping effectively and we must choose our trade partners wisely by looking at their track record. Workers disadvantaged by changing global trade patterns - especially in manufacturing - must be offered help to adapt through new training and employment opportunities.

MEPs involved

LANGE Bernd
Chair
Germany
MOSCA Alessia
Coordinator
Italy
ARENA Marie
Member
Belgium
Karoline GRASWANDER-HAINZ
Member
Austria
KIRTON-DARLING Jude
Member
United Kingdom
MARTIN David
Member
United Kingdom
MAUREL Emmanuel
Member
France
RODRÍGUEZ-PIÑERO FERNÁNDEZ Inmaculada
Member
Spain
SCHUSTER Joachim
Member
Germany
ANDRIEU Eric
Substitute
France

See our latest actions

Press release

European Parliament backs free trade and investment protection agreements with Singapore

Event

Gender and Trade: Reaping the benefits of trade for all

Press release

Time is not ripe for EU-US trade talks, say S&Ds

Position papers

Position paper
Published
S&D Group Position Paper for a renewed Africa-EU Partnership
Position paper
Published
S&D position paper on migration & asylum
Position paper
Published
For balanced trade: EU - China
Position paper
Published
EU cohesion policy - an investment tool for the benefit of EU citizens
Position paper
Published
Towards a Digital Union - Our Progressive Vision
Position paper
Published
Sustainable development agenda post-2015
Position paper
Published
Investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms in ongoing trade negotiations (ISDS)
Position paper
Published
EU-US negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement - TTIP

Related documents

Related documents
Published
Ten progressive S&D principles for a new era of trade agreements
Related documents
Published
S&D Position Paper on Investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms in ongoing trade negotiations
Related documents
Published
EU-US negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement - TTIP. Position paper of the S&D Group