The European Commission has today launched a new complaints system for reporting market access barriers and breaches of Trade and Sustainable Development commitments in the EU’s trade agreements and under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences.
The new complaints system reflects the Commission’s increased efforts to strengthen the enforcement and implementation of trade agreements. It follows the Commission’s appointment in July of its first Chief Trade Enforcement Officer (CTEO) to oversee its tougher action on enforcing trade policy, as well as the Commission’s 15-point Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) Action Plan of 2018. This Plan reflects the consensus of promoting close long-term TSD engagement, on the one hand, and of stepping up monitoring efforts – and more assertive enforcement – on the other hand. Complaints will be channelled through a new centralised Single Entry Point system in DG Trade to allow for a responsive, focussed and structured process.
Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis said: “The Commission has made enforcement a top priority, along with a sharper focus on implementing trade agreements. Under this new system, complaints relating to sustainable development commitments will be given the same level of focus and attention as market access barriers. It is a real step forward because stakeholders now will play a direct role in ensuring that EU trade policy delivers both on trade opportunities and on raising labour and environmental standards. The complaints system will be accessible to all relevant parties and businesses and Commission services will assess each complaint and take action as needed.”
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