Resolution submitted by: Political Committee 3, External Affairs and Global Governance.
Free trade is a foundation of the European Union and one of its most successful achievements. There is no question that it has brought many benefits to the EU and its citizens. However, the current global trade system and certain EU trade policies are not exempt from criticism. As a result, some worrying inclinations towards protectionism have surfaced.
This resolution makes it clear that JEF Europe views protectionism negatively and free trade as generally beneficial. EU trade policies need to be fair and defined in a transparent and democratic manner, they should also be used to spread important values such as democracy, the rule of law and human rights and better standards.
? Recalling its Political Platform;
? Appreciating that the primary aim of the common EU trade policy is to further the EU‘s commercial ties with other parts of the world and continue to increase the EU’s prosperity;
? Believing that trade contributes to peace while at the same time peace is a prerequisite for successful trade;
? Further believing that free trade on equal terms fosters growth and prosperity for all parties involved;
? Recognising that trade is also a tool to expand the EU’s normative power;
? Recognising that the expansion of free trade in Europe, through the European Economic Community, has been instrumental to the improvement of democracy, living standards and respect for human rights among the Member States;
? Welcoming the diffusion of values such as democracy, the rule of law and human rights as well as high social and environmental standards;
? Fully aware that our system of global free trade is criticised for the lack of social, economic and ecological sustainability;
? Affirming that estrangement from free and fair world trade is not an answer to such criticism;
? Deeply concerned about the calls for protectionism;
? Emphasising the importance for discussions on trade agreements and trade policies to be transparent and involve citizens;
? Observing that multilateral trade agreements are a more effective tool for the diffusion of both economic prosperity and improvement of living standards among a wider region than bilateral agreements;
1. Calls for new trade agreements to be democratically and transparently discussed and inclusive of civil society and representative organisations;
2. Stresses the importance for all new trade agreements to contain provisions ensuring high standards for environmental protection and labour rights;
3. Expects the EU to utilise the collective potency of its economy to spread not only European product standards and trade regulations outside of its external borders but more significantly to further democratic practices and adherence to the rule of law, human rights and social and environmental standards;
4. Supports the application of sanctions (including withdrawal from trade agreements as a last resort) in cases when partners do not respect those standards and values;
5. Encourages the use of multilateral and regional agreements over bilateral agreements when it comes to trade;
6. Emphasises that, as an organisation, JEF Europe must fight protectionism and showcase the benefits of globalisation and free and sustainable trade.
You can download the resolution "For a Free, Fair and Sustainable Trade Policy"