Following today’s hearing in front of the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament, the Socialists and Democrats expressed their confidence in the personal competence and experience demonstrated by the European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis.
The S&D spokesperson in the International Trade Committee, Kathleen Van Brempt, said:
“For us it is fundamental that the EU trade policy - in full accordance with our domestic Green Deal policy - puts Europe in the global lead to ensure the transition towards a new, fair and sustainable economic model.
“It is therefore essential that in our trade agreements with international partners are binding, enforceable and sanction based and that Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapters are always included. Empty words and promises have to be replaced by strong and enforceable agreements.
“This should not only be the case in future Free Trade Agreements, but also in ongoing negotiations, not least in the Mercosur FTA, as a binding pre-ratification conditionality.
“Enforceable and sanction based TSD chapters should include strong guarantees on human rights, as we recently have seen more evidence of human rights violations in the supply chain and environmental degradation.”
The S&D Vice President, responsible for International trade and engagement with citizens and institutions, Marek Belka, commented:
"We have witnessed a very interesting hearing. Commissioner Dombrovskis has proven he prepared for this role, as we expected from such an experienced member of present European Commission.
“Nonetheless, the broadness of the portfolio of the new ‘Super-Commissioner’ is still a matter of deep concern. The global trade situation and the ambitious agenda the EU aims to achieve demands the full commitment and attention of a Commissioner.
“The future chief of the EU trade will have to deal with numerous pressing challenges strategically, continuously negotiate future trade deals and guard the implementation of our trade agenda.
“This already seems enough for one person to handle. On top of that, Mr. Dombrovskis will be called upon to attend regular meetings of the Eurogroup, follow the European Semester and deal with various other economic issues.
“We fear that the trade portfolio may fall victim of this too broad list of responsibilities.
“The S&D Group will closely follow the work of Mr. Dombrovskis and offer constructive support in delivering on the enforceability of the trade and sustainable development chapters, the introduction of a WTO-compliant Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and the inclusion of the sustainable development agenda in the European trade policy."