EU: Commission launches new complaints system to fight trade barriers and violations of sustainable trade commitments

The European Commission has set up a complaint mechanism for non-compliance with Trade and Sustainable Development (’TSD’) or Generalised System of Preferences (’GSP’) system commitments as published today in its Operating guidelines for the Single Entry Point and complaints mechanism for the enforcement of EU trade agreements and arrangements.

FIDH welcomes this important step forward whereby EU NGOs, citizens and trade unions may lodge complaints directly online. It follows a sustained advocacy effort by FIDH to establish better and formalised enforcement mechanism for human rights in free trade agreements and trade preferences. This complaint mechanism could indeed foster compliance with obligations and effective respect of international conventions.

Although a step in the right direction, FIDH considers it should be complemented by a broader reform as detailed in FIDH’s input to the EU’s trade policy review consultation that asks for the improvement of the human rights clause, the improvement of the TSD chapters themselves, and for the instatement of an independent monitoring and complaint mechanism dedicated to human rights. See also our contribution to the revision of GSP.

For reporting violations of commitments relating to Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) or Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), lodge your complaint online here.

For further background reading see:

- EU failed to consider environmental and social impacts of South American trade deal: complaint, June 2020
- EU-VIETNAM FTA: European parliament calls for monitoring mechanism on human rights and independent complaints mechanism, February 2020
- Vietnam: EU advocacy tour with the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR)
- EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement contravenes the EU’s human rights obligations
- Vietnam: European Parliament shines spotlight on violations of freedom of expression, notably the case of Nguyen Van Hoa
- Commission comes under fire from European Parliament on its trade agreements
- European commission guilty of maladministration for EU-Vietnam FTA concludes EU Ombudsman
- European Commission fails to address the human rights impacts of its trade agreement with Vietnam
- EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement: Amicus curiae assessing Korea’s adherence to the sustainability chapter, July 2020
- EU-Korea Trade Agreement - Korea must address long-standing issues on labour standards says EU
- FIDH-ITUC-ETUC letter to Commissioner Malmstrom: Concerns regarding European Commission’s statements around the 6th meeting of the Civil Society Forum in connection with the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement
- EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement: Corporate Social Responsibility under scrutiny at Civil Society Forum
- EU-Korea FTA: European Commission urged to open consultations on Korea labour failures
- Expression of concerns about "Towards the future Generalised Scheme of Preference Regulation"
- GSP Reform Platform recommendations to EU Trade Commissioner Malmström
- Contribution to the Mid-Term Evaluation of the EU GSP
- Cambodia: European Commission announces partial withdrawal of trade concessions over human rights violations, february 2020;
- Cambodia: Democracy and rule of law under scrutiny by European Parliament
- Cambodia : EU to review EBA status says VP Mogherini on behalf of the Commission
- Cambodia : EU condemns continued deterioration of democracy, human rights and rule of law
- Cambodia: European Parliament condemns the dissolution of CNRP Party and calls for sanctions
- Cambodia : European Parliament (EP) condemns worsening situation and highlights Kem Sokha case

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