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Tuesday 21 October 2014

ALDE/D66 MEP Schaake reacts on preferential market access to the European market for Ukrainian companies

Tomorrow, the European Parliament votes on prolonging preferential market access to the European market for Ukrainian companies. Yesterday, the Trade committee of the Parliament already supported this extension. Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) responds:

“Preferential market access is of great economic importance to Ukraine, in the past moths, Ukrainian exports to the European Union have already increased significantly. It is also an important political signal that the EU keeps on supporting Ukraine on its way back to stability. However, preferential tariffs for Ukrainian products are not an excuse to bring any product onto the European market. All products must conform to European rules and standards, just like any import to the EU from a third country. The European Commission and national authorities need to monitor this closely.”

“If the Parliament agrees tomorrow, Ukrainian access to preferential tariff rates will become conditional on respect for human rights.

“Taking up a human rights clause in the agreement on lowering tariffs is an important move. The EU should more broadly use its economic weight to promote human rights in third countries. Clauses like this one, can be invoked when necessary.”

After discussions with Russia, the EU and Ukraine recently decided to postpone the implementation of the trade aspects of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine until 2016. The prolongation of preferential market access should bridge that gap. In a previous statement, Schaake already emphasised that it is crucial that the content of the Association agreement is not changed in the meantime under pressure from the Kremlin.

Photo: CreativeCommons, Mziegleraschdorf