19 February 2021
The ECR Group in the European Parliament has labelled the action-orientated approach presented in the European Commission’s new trade strategy as a fresh start.
An open position, avoiding the pitfalls of protectionism, taking the lead in global digital trade and a renewed emphasis on multilateralism are all areas the ECR Group strongly agrees with. Trade agreements can be a leaver for sustainability and green deal ambitions, but the Commission should preserve competitiveness and create a level playing field.
Following the presentation of the new strategy, MEP Geert Bourgeois gave his remarks:
“The EU has to face various geopolitical conflicts and unprecedented economic and social consequences of the COVID crisis.
“We must remain open but protect our interests in a more assertive way at the same time without being protectionist: to protect without protectionism. We must emphasise on multilateralism, sustainability, reciprocity, levelling the playing field and last but not least that our trading partners keep their commitments.”
Mr Bourgeois also affirmed the ECR Group’s vision for future geopolitical trade alliances:
“We fully support the orientation to multilateralism and we see ourselves aligned with our partners on the other side of the Atlantic. For this reason, we have to engage with the new US administration about a value-based partnership for a positive change and the new Director General of the World Trade Organization to progress on these issues.
“But we also need a shift towards the Southern and Eastern Neighbourhood of the European Union.
“The EU should offer sustainable investment opportunities, and alternative models for development in comparison to what China offers Africa.”
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