EU Trade Policy should not be subject to referenda

The European Parliament (EP) plays an important role in shaping the trade policy of the EU, stated MEP Iuliu Winkler, Vice-Chair of the International Trade Committee (INTA) in the EP, during a debate concerning the latest developments of the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals – EPRM, Tuesday morning, in Brussels.

“I believe that we, the EP, have a huge role in shaping trade policy. Yet, we should not do this alone, but in close cooperation with our partners, the business representatives and civil society. That is why we have to discuss trade policy with the relevant stakeholders, in a transparent manner. I do not think that trade policy should be subject to referenda, nor do I think that trade policy should be subjected to hostage taking by political actors. I hence firmly consider that trade policy should be decided in this Parliament, as we have the legitimacy to do it, we have the legal bases to do it, and we have all the relevant instruments of dialogue and cooperation. I furthermore think that if we stick to the Treaties, we cannot make too many mistakes”, declared the MEP.

Iuliu Winkler is rapporteur on the Regulation referring to the Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold (3TG) originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas, aiming to break the link between economic activities, mining and trade of these minerals and the financing of armed conflicts.

EPRM is a public-private partnership, promoted by the Dutch Government, aiming to increase the demand for and supply of responsibly sourced minerals from conflict-affected and high risk areas and to support responsible extraction of minerals contributing to local development. This initiative wishes to be an accompanying measure to the EU Regulation concerning conflict minerals, which is in its final stages in the EP.

The round table debate, co-organized by MEPs Marietje Schaake, Marie Arena and Iuliu Winkler, saw the participation of relevant NGOs, business representatives and Dutch governmental officials.