European Parliament (EP) publishes report on implementation of EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement

The report, published by the EP’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) on March 30, 2017, reflects the priorities promoted by FIDH within the Domestic Advisory Groups (DAG) to better protect human rights in FTAs.

In its report, the EP recalls that both parties have committed to “respect, promote and realise in their laws and practices the principles following on from their obligations deriving from membership of the ILO and the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, notably of freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining; emphasises, however, that progress made by Korea on the objectives enshrined in the Trade and Sustainable Development chapter is not satisfactory and that there are still cases of violation of freedom of association, including troubling examples of imprisonment of trade union leaders, and interference in negotiations, which should rest within the autonomy of the bargaining partners; in this respect, urges the Commission to take up formal consultations with the Korean Government in accordance with Article 13.14 of the FTA and, if such consultations should fail, calls on the panel of experts mentioned in the same article to take action and to continue the dialogue with regard to the failure of the Korean Government to comply with some of its commitments, and in particular to make continued and sustained efforts, in line with the obligations enshrined in the Agreement, towards ensuring the ratification by Korea of the fundamental ILO Conventions which this country has not ratified yet.

The report further notes that difficulties concerning the Trade and Sustainable Development chapter should be resolved prior to the negotiations on the Investment Chapter.

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