European Commission: Joint Statement on the Review of Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) Chapters

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5 July 2022 — The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and 10 other organisations welcome the Communication "The power of trade partnerships: together for green and just economic growth." Presented by the European Commission on 22 June 2022, it aims to mainstream sustainability throughout trade agreements in their entirety.

The increased focus on monitoring and enforcement of sustainability provisions in European Union (EU) Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), notably through the inclusion of sanctions, is a long-standing demand of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The undersigned organisations welcome this aspect of the Communication, as well as the proposed technical and financial support for trading partners and targeted impact assessments.

The revision of the Operating Guidelines for the Single-Entry Point (SEP) and the introduction of detailed and time-bound roadmaps with benchmarks could become key tools to increase adherence to the TSD chapter commitments and the role of civil society organisations and trade unions will be vital in both.

However, many of these positive steps need to be further clarified and operationalised to ensure that they align with the goals set out by EU treaties and social and green policies. Hence, we call upon the Commission to include the following points when implementing the TSD Communication.

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