EU-Korea FTA: European Commission urged to open consultations on Korea labour failures

In a letter to EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, the EU Domestic Advisory Group (DAG), which is comprised of a balance of environment, labour, business organisations and other relevant stakeholders including FIDH, requested the European Commission to initiate the formal consultations process provided for in the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) concerning violations of labour rights.

The letter further recalls that it is “incumbent on the Commission to use the FTA to raise these issues on a formal basis with the Korean government” and that “failure of the EU to act in this case, in light of the overwhelming evidence of the breach of Article 13, would undermine the effectiveness of Sustainable Development chapters in EU’s trade agreements, and of the EU trade policy in general.

FIDH, vice-chair of the EU Domestic Advisory Group’s (DAG), applauds the strong stand by the business sector, labour organisations and civil society in a united front to demand action on the repeated actions by the Korean government to weaken labour protection contrary to the commitments made under the EU-Korea FTA “to ensure that those laws and policies provide for and encourage high levels of labour protection and to strive to improve such laws and policies”.

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