Documents
Resources
Learning Center
Upload
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

EPAs-Ashton_EP_Hearing-Transcript_201008

VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 25

									                                    AUSSCHUSS FÜR INTERNATIONALEN HANDEL

                                         ANHÖRUNG VON BARONESS ASHTON
                         DESIGNIERTE KOMMISSARIN FÜR INTERNATIONALEN HANDEL

                                             STRASBURG, 20. OKTOBER 2008

                                                ----------------------
                                      COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE

                                            HEARING OF BARONESS ASHTON
                            COMMISSIONER DESIGNATE FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE

                                            STRASBOURG, 20 OCTOBER 2008


                                                             langer Zeit erfolgt ist, oder der schwierigen
                                                             Verhandlungen, die permanent geführt worden sind und
1-002
                                                             die bis auf CARIFORUM in den meisten Teilen ja noch
             VORSITZ: HELMUTH MARKOV
                                                             kein unterschriftsreifes Resultat hervorgebracht haben.
                                                             Wir sind mit der WTO in schwierigem Fahrwasser. Alle
        Vorsitzender des Ausschusses für internationalen
                                                             regionalen Verhandlungen mit Mercosur, mit den
                            Handel
                                                             Andenstaaten,       über      einen     Großteil      der
                                                             Wirtschaftspartnerschaftsabkommen mit Afrika, mit den
(Die Anhörung wird um 18.00 Uhr eröffnet.)
                                                             Golfstaaten, über bilaterale Abkommen sind noch
1-002-500                                                    anhängig, das heißt, es ist noch kein Endresultat da. Das
Der Vorsitzende.  Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen!           ist natürlich auch eine Frage, die sich jeder von uns
Ich eröffne die heutige Sitzung und begrüße die              stellt. Insofern sind wir sehr daran interessiert, diese
designierte Kommissarin, Baroness Ashton, sehr               Anhörung durchzuführen. Ich bin überzeugt, dass ein
herzlich. Ich begrüße alle Anwesenden. Ich gehe davon        Großteil der Fragen diese Themen zum Inhalt haben
aus, dass jedem die notwendigen Dossiers zur                 wird.
Verfügung gestellt worden sind, dass Sie den Ablauf
kennen, so dass ich es mir jetzt ersparen kann, dies noch    Wir bedanken uns ganz herzlich für die Beantwortung
einmal vorzutragen. Ich weise nur darauf hin, dass sich      der schriftlichen Fragen, die Sie entsprechend den
die Fraktionen geeinigt haben, dass die Redezeit und         Regeln abgegeben haben – wir als der Ausschuss, der
Antwortzeit pro Person fünf Minuten beträgt bis zu           dafür verantwortlich ist, heute dieses Hearing
einem gewissen Punkt – das sage ich dann auch noch an        durchzuführen, und auch als der Ausschuss, der Ihr
–, ab dann vier Minuten. Diese Redezeit beinhaltet Ihre      natürlicher Partner, Frau designierte Kommissarin, in
Fragestellung, die Antwort der Kommissarin, eine             der Zukunft ist, um alle Handelsfragen gemeinsam zu
Nachfrage können Sie stellen und dann nochmals die           beraten. Wir haben uns über eine Aussage in Ihren
Antwort. Wer fünf Minuten lang ein Statement hält,           schriftlichen Formulierungen sehr gefreut, nämlich dass
wird keine Antwort von der Kommissarin erhalten              Sie es anstreben, mit diesem Ausschuss permanent eine
können, denn ich werde sehr strikt auf die Uhr sehen,        gute Zusammenarbeit zu pflegen, zu uns zu kommen,
und die Zeit läuft auch mit. Sie können sich selber          uns anzuhören, Ihre Informationen zu geben, natürlich
überzeugen, wann die Zeit abgelaufen ist. Sonst können       auch mit dem Recht, von uns die Informationen zu
wir unseren Fahrplan in keiner Art und Weise einhalten.      bekommen, über die wir verfügen, so dass wir in einem
                                                             permanenten Austausch stehen werden, weil das für uns
Diese Anhörung steht natürlich zu einem Zeitpunkt auf        sehr entscheidend ist.
der Tagesordnung, der weltweit von enormer Bedeutung
ist, der geprägt ist durch große Krisen, die die             Natürlich will ich Sie nochmals ganz herzlich hier
Gemeinschaft erschüttern – das ist natürlich ganz aktuell    begrüßen. Ich hatte gesagt, dass in diesen Zeiten, wo
die    Finanzkrise,    das    ist   aber     auch     die    sehr viele Ereignisse vonstatten gehen, es natürlich für
Lebensmittelpreiskrise, die Klimakrise, die Energiekrise     eine neue Kommissarin nicht einfach ist, sich dieser
–, also zu einer Zeit, in der sehr vieles im Umbruch         Aufgabe zu stellen. Es ist eine enorme Menge von
begriffen ist und vieles auch neu durchdacht werden          Verhandlungen durchzuführen im Rahmen der WTO,
muss, vielleicht auch neue Herangehensweisen gefunden        innerhalb der Regionen, die bisher nicht von
werden müssen.                                               abschließendem Erfolg gekrönt waren, bis auf das
                                                             CARIFORUM, so dass die Aufgaben enorm sind. Das
Insofern ist das natürlich keine leichte Zeit für eine       regt natürlich auch dazu an, darüber nachzudenken, ob
Kommissarin, die als Nachfolgerin von Peter Mandelson        man vielleicht bestimmte Justierungen etwas anders
benannt worden ist, natürlich auch angesichts                vornehmen sollte oder nicht.
bestimmter Dinge, wie der Mandatserteilung, die vor
2                                                                                                         20-10-2008

Wir freuen uns, dass wir als zuständiger Ausschuss jetzt       Parliamentarian to my core. My political instincts have
die Möglichkeit haben, dieses Hearing durchzuführen.           been shaped by nearly 10 years in the House of Lords.
Ich hatte auch gesagt, dass wir uns insbesondere gefreut
haben, dass Sie bei der Beantwortung der schriftlichen         I have experience in mastering a complex brief and
Fragen gesagt haben, Sie würden sich bemühen, ein              steering it through disputed and even hostile territory. I
gutes Verhältnis zu unserem Ausschuss zu haben, von            guided the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty through the
Anfang an für eine permanente Information zu sorgen,           House of Lords in the United Kingdom.
so dass wir gemeinsam für eine Verbesserung und für
eine größere Information innerhalb des internationalen         As UK Justice Minister I participated in, and chaired, the
Handels sorgen können.                                         Justice and Home Affairs Council and I know very well
                                                               how difficult – and necessary – managing national
Damit beende ich meine Einführung. Die leichte                 preferences on the road to a common European policy is.
Zeitüberschreitung war wohl durch die technische Panne         Trade confronts us with exactly the same need to build a
hervorgerufen. Damit erteile ich der designierten              common policy from a wide range of national interests.
Kommissarin, Baroness Ashton, das Wort für ihr
Einführungsstatement. Sie haben zwanzig Minuten Zeit.          I have two decades of experience launching and running
Ich schalte also die Uhr ein. Sie läuft dann mit, damit        non-profit organisations focused on corporate social
jeder weiß, wann die Zeit abgelaufen ist. Das gilt für         responsibility and building strong communities. I am an
alle.                                                          active campaigner on equal opportunities, especially for
                                                               women. Plenty of people have noted that I would be the
1-003
                                                               first female British Commissioner and the first female
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  Chair,
                                                               Trade Commissioner, to which I say – it’s time.
colleagues, thank you very much indeed. I realise that it
has taken an extra effort for many of you to be here for
                                                               It would not be credible to suggest that I have mastered
this presentation this evening. I appreciate that effort. It
                                                               every detail of European trade policy in 10 days. But I
is an honour to have been appointed to this role, and an
                                                               come to this position with years of relevant experience
honour to have the chance to address this House.
                                                               in government and business and with strong convictions
                                                               about how trade should work and what it means to live
I do not want to monopolise the floor with an opening
                                                               in a global economy. I want to set out those convictions
statement for any longer than necessary. I am not going
                                                               tonight, and I think in doing so I can make clear to you
to try and tick every box. You are here to ask me
                                                               the kind of Trade Commissioner I propose to be.
questions and I am here to answer them. I think it is best
if we get on with that.
                                                               We measure the benefits of open trade in
                                                               macroeconomic terms – growth, jobs, efficiency,
I am someone who regards herself as strongly pro-
                                                               stronger economies. But to me it is also about individual
European. My British and European identities have
                                                               people, livelihoods and communities. It is about that
always pulled me in the same direction rather than apart.
                                                               moment when a small business somewhere in Europe
My belief in the value of the European Union flows
                                                               discovers that there is a market for what they make in
from two things. First, a sense that the European Union
                                                               China or the United States; or that moment when a small
is the most radical experiment in rising above narrow
                                                               business in Africa or the Caribbean is able to sell their
national interest in pursuit of shared stability and
                                                               goods here for the first time. The job of the Trade
prosperity that the world has ever seen. It is an
                                                               Commissioner and trade policy is to create the
experiment that has succeeded far beyond its founders’
                                                               conditions that make these links possible.
expectations. I was born into the wake of the most
devastating war Europe has ever seen. My children were
                                                               But trade is also an engine of economic change, and we
born into a Europe that has never been more prosperous
                                                               cannot see it in isolation. I was born and grew up in
or more stable.
                                                               Lancashire, which used to be the heart of the British
                                                               textile industry. I know what communities go through
The second is a belief that an effective and proactive
                                                               when industries rise and fall. Whatever the end result of
European Union is the best – indeed the only – way of
                                                               economic change, no matter how great the overall
projecting European values and interests in a changing
                                                               benefits for our societies, we have a responsibility to the
world. This matters in trade, where we are now sitting
                                                               people whose lives are changed in the process. That is
across the table from economies the size of China and
                                                               why Europe’s social models matter more than ever in a
India. But it will matter whenever Europeans want to
                                                               world of rapid economic change.
shape a global agenda.
                                                               That said, I believe in the value of open trade and open
I am an experienced negotiator who knows how to build
                                                               markets. I believe that globalisation is a force for good,
bridges. I led significant changes in the British Health
                                                               even if it brings with it new political problems that need
Service and I was appointed to the House of Lords in
                                                               to be addressed. I have seen at first hand in India, South
1999. From that position I have been UK Minister for
                                                               Africa and elsewhere the way that trade with Europe can
both Human Rights and Justice. I became Leader of the
                                                               help reduce poverty, especially the grinding poverty of
House of Lords in 2007. I am, colleagues, a
                                                               agricultural subsistence.
                                                                                                                          3
I do not see trade as just the contents of shipping              I do not believe that the answers to any of our problems
containers. I see it as creating the conditions by which         – and that includes the current financial crisis – lie in
investment, skills, experience and opportunity can               reversing the current openness of the global economy. I
spread around the world and into the places where they           believe they lie in managing economic globalisation
are often needed most. I think there is a role for trade in      better. Markets need rules. Markets need to be
helping us meet the Millennium Development Goals and             monitored, and rules need to be enforced. The right
tackle climate change. The point is that trade and open          response to market failure is to ask why the market
markets are a means to an end, never an end in                   failed and to ensure that failure does not happen again.
themselves. We should not allow our trade policy to              History spells out the costs of retreating into economic
produce social or environmental results here in Europe,          isolation.
or anywhere else, that are counter to our wider policy
goals. The end of trade policy is not trade for trade’s          It is our special responsibility in Europe that we make
sake: it is a more prosperous, stable and equitable world.       trade policy from a position of wealth and strength. It is
                                                                 to Europe’s credit that we have usually had the moral
I believe that the gradual building of an open global            sense to recognise that, even when it touches our own
trading system based on shared rules is one of the great         economic interests. We have reformed our farm
achievements of the 20th century. The WTO system                 subsidies so that they no longer squeeze farmers in the
might not be perfect, but it is easy to underestimate just       developing world. We have never expected developing
how unpredictable the global economy would be without            countries of any size or strength to match our own
it. If approved by this Parliament, my first visit will be to    commitments in the Doha Round.
Geneva to assure Pascal Lamy that the WTO and
pursuing a successful Doha Round remain absolutely               For me, fair trade means trade that helps build European
central to Europe’s trade policy.                                prosperity without making other countries worse off –
                                                                 and which actively helps lift people out of poverty
I do not accept the pessimistic assessment of Europe’s           wherever it can. I believe that everybody has the right to
potential in a global economy that says that we are              trade their way out of poverty and that no part of our
running out of ways to compete with economies like               trade policy should prevent them doing that. Our trade
China. It does not reflect the facts. It does not reflect that   policy should respect comparative advantage and fair
our trade surplus for manufactured goods was three               competition. But it should never reward disregard for
times higher in 2007 than it was in 2000. It does not            internationally accepted labour and social standards.
reflect the fact that Europe remains the market leader in
services and high-value and high-technology goods.               I do not think economies grow behind long-term trade
                                                                 barriers, and there is no evidence that any economy has
We are being forced to think about what we do best.              ever grown sustainably without some kind of
That does not mean, for instance, getting out of farming;        engagement with trade. But I do not think there is a
it mean focusing on the specialist and traditional               single model for trade liberalisation that works
agricultural products which are our strength.                    everywhere and at all times. There are only tailored
                                                                 solutions to the specific needs and the potential strengths
It certainly does not mean an end to manufacturing in            of different countries. This would guide my approach in
Europe. Three in every four containers imported to               areas such as the Economic Partnership Agreements,
Europe in 2007 were full not with consumer goods from            where I want to listen to and learn from our ACP
some Chinese factory, but with unfinished materials or           partners how best to take forward final agreements.
parts and components destined for the transformation
                                                                 1-004
industries here. We are a transformation economy. Our
                                                                 À Monsieur le Président, enfin, je m'excuse de ne pas
added value is the skills and the technologies we bring to
                                                                 pouvoir parler très bien français ou une autre langue de
bear in this process. We make better things, and we
                                                                 l'Europe. J'ai habité il y a vingt ans en France, pour trois
make them better than anyone else.
                                                                 mois. Mais maintenant j'ai oublié le vocabulaire.
The trade policy for a transformation economy must be:           1-005
open markets for what we sell; open markets for what             Ich habe in der Schule zwei Jahre lang Deutsch gelernt,
we need to import. We are right to seek to refocus trade         aber jetzt habe ich viel vergessen.
policy on our fastest-growing markets in Asia, and right
                                                                 1-006
to argue that we cannot build a strong European                  But the thing that I am probably most proud of when I
economy to underpin our social models without being              was an education minister was that I introduced – and it
competitive on the world’s markets.                              came into being this year – European language learning
                                                                 for every seven-year-old in England. I based it on
We are at a moment when our economies are under                  watching my children learn music by learning the piano
immense strain. The impact of the credit crisis will             and the violin by different grades, and so I introduced
almost certainly be a contraction in demand here and in          the language ladder into English schools, for which I had
America. We will be even more dependent on open                  responsibility. Hopefully, if I am able to get your
markets abroad for growth. Our open supply chains will           support tonight, I will be able to improve my languages
matter even more.                                                sufficiently, so that the next time you see me I will
                                                                 answer in another language as well as my own.
4                                                                                                        20-10-2008

(Applause)                                                     the collapse of the Doha Round. Therefore, in hindsight
                                                               – which is a great thing – in view of Peter Mandelson’s
1-007
                                                               inability in his four years’ tenure to reach a successful
Der Vorsitzende.  Wir bedanken uns sehr herzlich bei
                                                               conclusion to Doha, EPAs and the problems over China,
Frau Ashton für diese einführenden Worte. Sie hat uns
                                                               how would you have done things differently, given the
den Spielraum zurückgegeben, der uns durch die
                                                               role played by the Americans in that?
Probleme mit der Technik verloren gegangen ist.
                                                               1-011
                                                               Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I do not
1-008
Robert Sturdy, on behalf of the PPE-DE Group. –
                                                               think it is about doing things differently. The Doha
Baroness Ashton, I have two questions.
                                                               Round is not over yet. Seven years of negotiation is
                                                               comparable with Uruguay, which was eight years of
How do you propose that the EU respond to the
                                                               negotiation – it is not over yet. There is more to be done
economic downturn and pressure facing the global
                                                               to try and see if we can bring it back on track. As I have
markets, bearing in mind you said that there would be no
                                                               indicated, my first port of call will be to go and see
TDIs? Would you be in favour of bilateral or multilateral
                                                               Pascal Lamy in Geneva – if I am fortunate to be able to
discussions?
                                                               be the Commissioner and if Parliament agrees that – on
                                                               Wednesday in order to begin discussions with him.
With the US presidential election fast approaching, and
the statements reported in the press, what is your
                                                               I think we have to say – particularly at a time when the
personal analysis of each of the candidates; what do you
                                                               economies of the world face turbulence – that we need
feel about the statements made and how would you
                                                               to redouble our efforts to make sure that we do have
address the differences between the two candidates? If
                                                               agreements. America has a very clear and strong place to
possible I would like an answer to that question first.
                                                               play in that, and our job would be to make sure that it
1-009                                                          does.
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  Firstly, in
                                                               1-013
terms of the economic downturn: what I was trying to
                                                               Erika Mann, on behalf of the PSE Group. – It is a
indicate was the importance of keeping markets open
                                                               pleasure to see you here. To be the European
and the opportunity that being able to trade in open
                                                               Commissioner for Trade is a very demanding and
markets offered our industry and our business in terms
                                                               important job, in particular in the current situation of
of dealing with the economic downturn that we will
                                                               economic instability and uncertainty. What, in your
face.
                                                               personal background and professional background,
                                                               equips you for this job?
I do not think I talked about TDIs specifically, but
certainly I am sure we will come on to discuss that later.     1-014
I believe the Doha Round is very important and that            Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I think I
multilateral agreements give us breadth and depth in           want to describe it with three pillars. The first time I
terms of our ability to trade. That does not mean that it is   came to Strasbourg was a long time ago, when I was in
inappropriate to consider other agreements with                discussion with the European Union about support for
individual nations or groups of nations in the future.         small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK, in order
Therefore, I will be looking to approach from that             to help them be able to export across the world. So I
perspective.                                                   began my career in Europe thinking about issues of
                                                               business and trade, and since then I have worked closely
In terms of the United States, like many of you I have         with the Commission, the Council and Parliament.
followed with great interest the speeches and statements
that have been made by both candidates. You can                Some of you will recall that in the presidency I went as
summarise them by saying that John McCain has made             far as moving data-sharing issues from the third to the
his commitment to open and free trade very clear. One          first pillar in order to make sure that we had the three
could also argue that Barack Obama has said that he            institutions of Europe working together on a matter of
wants to put emphasis on making sure that the                  enormous importance to us. So my first answer is my
agreements that currently exist work to best effect and        commitment to Europe.
then to consider what to do next.
                                                               My second answer is about my negotiation skills. Most
Whichever candidate wins, our job will be to work              of my life, including being involved in my earlier years
closely with them, to develop trade, to make sure that         in actually training businesspeople from across the
America plays its full part in the Doha negotiations and       country on negotiation, I have always been involved one
to ensure the recognition that retreat into protectionism      way or another in negotiations. In Parliament, with 29%
will never be a solution for the future.                       of the vote, everything I did was a negotiation. In the
                                                               health services I merged hospitals, and worked closely
1-010
                                                               with clinicians and with the public to redesign health
Robert Sturdy, on behalf of the PPE-DE Group. – That
                                                               services for the 21st century.
is easy to say, but in actual fact it is believed that the
United States, because they did not really come to the
table with a willingness to agree, were responsible for
                                                                                                                         5
In my job as a justice minister I was responsible for legal
services trade, working with Europe to support the             First, on the whole market access and global Europe
opening of markets in India and South Africa: direct and       strategy, but specifically on market access, for which I
relevant experience.                                           had the privilege to draft a report for this Parliament
                                                               which was approved almost unanimously. There were
The third pillar is about my values, from being the            very specific measures to be implemented which need to
Human Rights Minister to all the work that I have done         be implemented by the Commission. When I read your
on Community development, from my understanding                written statement which you prepared for this hearing, it
that sustainable development is about environmental            looks as if we were at the start of that path, as if we were
issues but also about the growth of communities and the        reinventing the wheel. We have already worked – and
role that institutions as diverse as nursery education         the Commission has already worked – a lot on that, so I
through to environmental questions have to play in             would like to know if you intend to change anything or
retaining those communities.                                   whether you will just jump on the train which is already
                                                               moving and try to implement very specific measures
I would argue that I have a breadth of experience which        which were proposed by this Parliament on the basis of
I can apply to this brief to, hopefully, support the work      – of course – the original Commission’s proposal.
of the committees and the work of the European Union.
                                                               Secondly, there is something that really worries a lot of
1-015
                                                               SMEs in Europe, which is that Europe is raising its
Erika Mann, on behalf of the PSE Group. – To follow
                                                               standards, for example, with the REACH Directive
up, the global trade agenda of the European Union is a
                                                               regarding chemicals (I could use other examples), and
very complicated one: it ranges from bilateral to
                                                               simultaneously we are allowing the import of more and
multilateral and plurilateral agreements. How do you
                                                               more substances which are not prevented from reaching
think you will be shaping the global trade topics with so
                                                               our market because they do not fulfil those standards. So
many global players involved, and even more major
                                                               there is unfair competition from outside. We can be
countries set to join in in future, so as to ensure that
                                                               perfectly open, but we would like to see the same
trade will be fair, just and sustainable in the future?
                                                               standards for imported products as for European
1-016                                                          manufactured products. How do you intend to tackle
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  It is very          this?
important that when developing trade we think of the
two parts to this. The first is the value and importance       Finally, you say in your written statements that public
for the citizens of the European Union of being able to        procurement is one of the most closed markets in the
trade, in the interests of their prosperity, security and      global economy, but indeed that applies to foreign public
growth, and of making sure that we develop our                 procurement. European public procurement is among the
industrial and commercial base. It is also about               most open, so there is a real lack of reciprocity in public
recognition of the values of this Union, which we wish         procurement, where public European companies have
to tell the rest of the world about and to use in the work     their markets outside closed but we open ours. How do
that we do. It is therefore about creating, across the         you intend to tackle this?
globe, the kind of sustainable development based on
                                                               1-019
countries growing their own economies to their own
                                                               Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  Market
benefit, and ultimately as trading partners to ours. I think
                                                               access is very important; working with business to
what we have to do is think about how we put those two
                                                               develop ways in which the best possible information is
things together, not only under the trade portfolio but
                                                               available. I could not agree more on the importance of
also, and I speak as one of 27 Commissioners, because
                                                               that. Indeed, as I have indicated, where I began 25 years
there are many ways in which we have to build trade
                                                               ago was working with businesses to try and support
with agriculture or with development or with other
                                                               them in market access. I know there has been a review
pieces of work, where we are approaching other nations
                                                               quite recently, looking at the information, the website
as a group rather than simply from one perspective. So
                                                               and so on. I want to support that strategy and, in that
both of those things will be very important in how I take
                                                               sense, I will jump on the train. However, I also want to
this forward.
                                                               make sure that the carriages are not in need of any repair
1-018                                                          – if that is not stretching the metaphor too far.
Ignasi Guardans Cambó, on behalf of the ALDE
Group. – I am here behind you, Commissioner                    In terms of small and medium-sized enterprises, I was
designate, here on your back!                                  surprised to discover that only 8% of small and medium-
                                                               sized enterprises – of which we have about three million
(Laughter)                                                     – actually export. I am quite sure there is much more we
                                                               can do to support their development. Many of them will
I am sorry. Welcome to this Committee. As you said,            have market focus on their local communities, but there
international trade – your portfolio – is not only about       must be a real opportunity there, on which we need to
macro negotiations and the life of the whole world, but        build. I want to see how the market access strategy and
also about job creation within Europe. It is about SMEs,       the support for small and medium-sized enterprises
and it is about the competitiveness of the whole               come together, and I agree we have to look very
European Union. Therefore I would like to ask you three        carefully at issues of standards relating to our imports.
very specific questions in this context.                       Indeed, I know that a lot of the work of officials in the
6                                                                                                          20-10-2008

field of trade is on how to move forward with that in our      communities who are already on the brink of going out
agreements with other countries. We would all agree on         of existence, along with their farming practices?
that, not least for our consumers.
                                                               I represent a small farming community in the West of
Concerning public procurement: I think there are real          Ireland and I support the Doha Development Round, but
opportunities there for us. We have to make sure there is      this concern has to be looked at in its full complexity.
reciprocity; we have to make sure that we take up those        Would you envisage changing those proposals so that
initiatives properly. It is not about persuading companies     they would not cause such concern and apprehension?
that want to look at how they run their own services to
                                                               1-024
have to open their markets – that is for them. However,
                                                               Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I shall
where there are opportunities – in engineering and in
                                                               begin by saying that I do not think the talks have failed,
other services that we can provide – then we should look
                                                               but stalled. I say that because it is very important that we
to that, not least as a way of potentially raising standards
                                                               work as hard as we can to try and get the talks back on
for populations right across the world.
                                                               track.
1-020
Ignasi Guardans Cambó, on behalf of the ALDE                   I understand something of the issues that were raised
Group. – I have one very specific question on another          between India and the United States in particular. I
issue. On Latin America the record of your predecessor         know, indeed, that in putting together the package it
is less brilliant than in other areas. I am dealing with       was, as far as I can see – and I am sure we will have the
Latin America. I would like to hear from you: what is          opportunity to talk further about this – very much based
your commitment to that part of the world, and how do          on the CAP reforms of 2003, which in themselves were
you see the current state of negotiations there and,           important both in the Doha Round and also in changing
specifically, the permanent conflict between dealing           agriculture in the European Union to some extent.
with regions and dealing on a bilateral basis – which is
really a permant decision that needs to be tackled?            In so doing, I think there are issues that my colleague
                                                               Mariann Fischer Boel will be looking at, and I have no
1-021
                                                               doubt you are having talks with her about the
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I think
                                                               implications for particular farming communities. I
where nations have chosen to come together as a region
                                                               hesitate to stray into an area in which I do not have
and have either invited the European Union to trade or to
                                                               expertise and I know very well that she does, but in
open negotiations to trade, we need to look carefully and
                                                               terms of our trade talks it is important to make sure that
respect their desire to work as a group of countries. That
                                                               the market for agriculture from the European Union is
can create difficulties in terms of developing a strategy
                                                               strong and that we are able, by locking what we did in
that will bring the greatest benefits to them and to us, but
                                                               the CAP reforms into the Doha Round, also to make sure
that is always my preference as a starting point, where it
                                                               that trade is open and transparent and to the benefit of
is clear that those countries have wanted that and where
                                                               the farming communities in the European Union.
we can see the economic benefits.
                                                               1-025
This is what I have described as the breadth and the           Seán Ó Neachtain, on behalf of the UEN Group. – If we
depth of the agreement, which also enables countries           do weaken the farming structure of Europe, would you
where necessary to restructure their industries more           not have a concern for the future of Europe’s food
easily if they are able to negotiate around a range of         policy, food security and food safety in light of those
goods and services, while also acting together as a group      proposals?
of nations.
                                                               1-026
                                                               Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I think
Having said that, there will be occasions when this is not
                                                               you used the word ‘weaken’. I do not see it as
possible, where it is better to have either a twin-track
                                                               weakening. I think what we are trying to achieve – and
approach, to go forward with a few countries – or,
                                                               certainly what the CAP reforms were about – is to make
indeed, with individual nations – and then build on that.
                                                               sure that we have a productive agricultural sector for the
So, whatever the preference, the pragmatic approach
                                                               future, with which we could go into negotiations in a
should be that we try and reach out and develop the best
                                                               multilateral way in the Doha Round.
possible agreements for ourselves and for other
countries.
                                                               As I have said, I think it is very important, and this is
1-023                                                          where I know I will be working – if I am fortunate
Seán Ó Neachtain, on behalf of the UEN Group. –                enough to be put in the position – with Ms Fischer Boel
Given that the proposals your predecessor, former              in order to bring together the agricultural and trade
Commissioner Mandelson, brought to the table at the            elements of this. But I do not see it as weakening. There
failed WTO talks in Geneva caused a lot of concern             are inevitably going to be changes, because multilateral
across rural Europe – a concern which was based on the         agreements create changes. But we need to make sure
demise of traditional farming patterns, especially small       that we have a strong and thriving agricultural sector.
farming units – would you envisage changing those
                                                               1-028
proposals to allay the fears of those farming
                                                                                                                       7
Frithjof Schmidt, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. –           Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  It must
Baroness Ashton! Die Singapur-Issues sind ja aufgrund          be for individual states and nations to determine their
des heftigen Widerstands von Entwicklungsländern aus           own regulatory approach. It is not for us to impose.
der Doha-Runde im Rahmen der WTO ausgeklammert                 Having said that, there will be lessons that we have
worden. Die Europäische Union hat sie stattdessen zu           learnt, and will learn, from what has happened here that
einem zentralen Bestandteil der Verhandlungen über die         could be of value to other nations, and there may well be
Wirtschaftspartnerschaftsabkommen      gemacht     und         expertise that they wish to harness, but it must be for
ebenso zu einem zentralen Bestandteil der Global               them to determine the system of regulation that they
Europe       Strategy      zu      den      bilateralen        would wish to have.
Freihandelsabkommen.
                                                               1-033
                                                               Jacky Hénin, au nom du groupe GUE/NGL. – Monsieur
In Ihrer schriftlichen Antwort auf unsere Fragen haben
                                                               le Président, Madame la Commissaire, j'ai tellement de
Sie erklärt, dass Ihnen sehr bewusst ist, dass es sich hier
                                                               questions que les quelques minutes que tout le monde a
für unsere Partnerländer um besonders sensible
                                                               ne me suffiraient pas.
Problembereiche                handelt.              Viele
Wirtschaftspartnerschaftsverhandlungen sind ja genau
                                                               Sur l'OMC d'abord. Ne pensez-vous pas, devant les
an diesen Fragen vorläufig gescheitert und haben so die
                                                               crises que nous vivons, qu'il soit urgent de révolutionner
Interimsabkommen erforderlich gemacht. Sehen Sie vor
                                                               en profondeur l'OMC, qui met le libre-échange au-
dem Hintergrund dieser Erfahrung das Erfordernis einer
                                                               dessus des droits démocratiques des peuples, empêchant
Modifizierung,        und      zwar       sowohl        der
                                                               l'application des droits de l'homme, le respect des droits
Verhandlungsstrategie               bei                den
                                                               syndicaux et la mise en œuvre des réglementations
Wirtschaftspartnerschaftsabkommen als auch bei Global
                                                               écologiques au nom d'un pseudo-droit divin de
Europe in Bezug auf die Singapur-Issues, und hier
                                                               commercer? Ne pensez-vous pas qu'il faille remplacer,
vielleicht     insbesondere      im       Bereich       des
                                                               notamment, la pratique mortifère de la gouvernance par
Beschaffungswesens? Meine Frage zielt also eher auf
                                                               davantage de démocratie et, pourquoi pas, placer l'OMC
das Gegenteil dessen ab, was Herr Cambó vorhin gefragt
                                                               sous la tutelle de l'ONU?
hat.
                                                               1-034
1-029
                                                               Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  Mr
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  One of
                                                               Hénin, you said you have many questions. Can I
the things that I realised a long time ago is that trade has
                                                               immediately say that I look forward to being in dialogue
become a much more sophisticated aspect of policy in
                                                               with you on responding to more than we will be allowed
every country, but especially in the European Union.
                                                               to today. There is nothing I enjoy more than the
The Singapore issues are interesting because they bring
                                                               opportunity to talk with colleagues.
into play what else is relevant and important beyond
pure trade in goods. Whether it is investment, whether it
                                                               In terms of the WTO, my reaction is to say that what we
is procurement or whether it is one of the other issues,
                                                               have to do is to make, as far as we can, the structure that
they are important. It is my view that in developing
                                                               exists work to our advantage. My personal experience of
Economic Partnership Agreements it is possible to think
                                                               changing structures is that they take a long time and that,
about the benefit to other nations, such as a good
                                                               in times when you have the time, that is okay, but when
investment strategy. This not least because the
                                                               you are trying to deal with difficult and challenging
transparency of how third parties come and invest in a
                                                               issues it is best, in my view, for the moment, to make the
country, and the rules which they must abide by, are
                                                               structures that we have as effective as they possibly can
very important in order to prevent exploitation. I also
                                                               be.
feel that, if handled properly, one can look at
procurement from a developmental prospective. The
                                                               Having said that, on the issues that you raise and on the
challenge as we move from interim to full agreements is
                                                               importance, I think, that underpins them of making sure
to enable us to work closely with those countries, for
                                                               that in our trade negotiations and discussions we are
them to decide with us what they would wish to see
                                                               clear about some of the other factors that matter to us –
included, and for the opportunities to be clear for them
                                                               the values that we hold, for example – I agree with you:
to hopefully take up, or in the end decide they do not
                                                               that is an important aspect of what we do. But I do not
wish to. That will be the approach I will take as we
                                                               feel this is the moment to try and renegotiate the
move from interim to full agreements.
                                                               structures.
1-030
Frithjof Schmidt, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. –           1-035
                                                               Jacky Hénin, au nom du groupe GUE/NGL. – Monsieur
Eine Nachfrage zu den Finanzdienstleistungen vor dem
                                                               le Président, est tombée cet après-midi sur tous les fax
Hintergrund der aktuellen Finanzmarktkrise: Sehen Sie
                                                               une note du directeur du Bureau international du travail
die Notwendigkeit, unsere Politik in Bezug auf die
                                                               qui prévoit 20 millions de demandeurs d'emploi
Liberalisierung der Finanzdienstleistungen in solchen
                                                               supplémentaires avant la fin de l'année 2009.
Wirtschaftspartnerschaftsverhandlungen auch in Global
Europe zu modifizieren und unseren Partnerländern
                                                               Face au dumping monétaire prévisible des États-Unis
mehr Spielräume bei der Regulierung des Bankensektors
                                                               qui accompagnera la mise en place du plan Paulson et
zu geben? Wir tun das ja jetzt auch.
                                                               qui risque de détruire des centaines de milliers d'emplois
1-031                                                          industriels dans l'Union, et en particulier les plus
8                                                                                                           20-10-2008

qualifiés, quelles mesures entendez-vous préconiser à la        this: I have got at my disposal hundreds of very
Commission et êtes-vous prête à travailler sur                  experienced people who have been negotiating and
l'hypothèse d'une monnaie mondiale?                             working on the trade portfolio for a long time, and I pay
                                                                credit to them, even after 10 days, for the enormous
1-036
                                                                work that they do on our behalf. The technical expertise
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I cannot
                                                                is at my disposal. The question is: do I have the ability to
pretend I have given much thought to a world currency
                                                                go and negotiate on behalf of the European Union,
10 days into my work. However, I can sense from the
                                                                bearing in mind that I want to see stability, economic
comments that have been made that this may be an area
                                                                growth and development for the countries of the
for future and more detailed debate. What I do think is
                                                                European Union and for the rest of the world? And the
that it is important, when you consider the prospect of
                                                                answer to the question is: yes, I do. I have the experience
job losses in the European Union and beyond, that we
                                                                because I am a negotiator – it is what I do. I may not
look at the role that trade has to play. I tried to say in my
                                                                have had the profile of the now newly ennobled Lord
opening remarks that having open and growing markets
                                                                Mandelson, but that does not mean that I do not have the
is going to be very important for the sustainability of the
                                                                experience: quite the contrary.
economies across the European Union, with whom we
can trade and develop our services and manufacturing
                                                                (Applause)
base. So the answer, in part, to the economic problems
that we face is open trade and the capacity to be able to       1-040
trade with other economies and develop our markets              Nigel Farage, on behalf of the IND/DEM Group. –
effectively.                                                    Perhaps one of your biggest challenges will start very
                                                                close to home. The current President-in-Office, Mr
1-038
                                                                Sarkozy, who is a very strong, dominant, extraordinary
Nigel Farage, on behalf of the IND/DEM Group. –
                                                                character, is somebody who seems himself to be quite
Baroness Ashton, I am not for one moment suggesting
                                                                keen on protectionism. He said just recently that the
that you should not be Lord Mandelson’s replacement as
                                                                word ‘protection’ is no longer taboo and that Europe is
the UK’s next Commissioner. After all, you managed to
                                                                there to protect people. I know that Lord Mandelson
steer the Lisbon Treaty through the House of Lords...
                                                                himself was committed to the concept of free trade, and
                                                                perhaps the reason he was not able to achieve very much
(Applause)
                                                                is because of the conflicts that exist within the
                                                                institutions of the European Union and because of the
...pretending that it was somehow different to the
                                                                differing views of Member States. My question to you
European Constitution – a remarkable feat – and thereby
                                                                is: are you a believer in free trade, and, if you are, how
avoiding a referendum. So you have got political skills –
                                                                will you be able to stand up to Mr Sarkozy?
no question about that.
                                                                1-041
The difficulty is that we are still in the middle of a          Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  There is a
ruinous credit crunch, there is a rapid contraction in          difference between the idea of the European Union
global trade – it is interesting to see that the Baltic Dry     ‘protecting’ and ‘protectionism’. They are actually two
Index has fallen in value by 85% since June, which is           fundamentally different concepts.
deeply worrying – and history teaches us that just around
the corner we may well have protectionism.                      Mr Sarkozy was describing the importance and the value
                                                                of a European Union that works to support and protect
Trade is a 100% competence of the European Union.               its citizens, and helps them to develop in a global
The EU Trade Commissioner is the most important                 economy.
figure in the world for global trade. There is no question
about that. Now is not the time for a novice. We need a         Protectionism is a retreat away from being able to work
big hitter and, frankly, looking at your CV, you do not         within a global economy, and actually in the end diverts
have any direct relevant experience to take on this job at      resources away from the ability to grow new markets.
what is a very dangerous time. Would you not have been          That is quite different, and I do not believe Mr Sarkozy
happier to take on a different brief?                           was referring to ‘protectionism’ in what he described as
                                                                ‘protection’.
1-039
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  Hello, Mr
                                                                Also, I think my predecessor did a fantastic job in trying
Farage. It is very nice to be doing business with UKIP
                                                                to develop our trade right across the globe.
again, my fans in the House of Lords, and Lord Pearson
of Rannoch described my performance as ‘fantastic’,
                                                                (Applause)
and I was delighted that he did so.
                                                                1-043
But you ask, actually, a very serious question, and I do        Thijs Berman (PSE), Vice-Chair of the Committee on
not make light of it. The issue is: do I have the relevant      Development. – Commissioner designate – let me avoid
experience to bring to this portfolio, to assure you and        the word ‘baroness’ as we are citizens in Europe here –
your colleagues that I can do the best job that is needed       you very rightly said that the end of trade policy is a
to do the work to pursue the trade portfolio? Let me say        more prosperous, stable and equitable world, and I must
                                                                                                                       9
say that I am impressed by the way you are performing          fact, I understand this is the reason that they are not
here: you are very calm and very controlled. It shows          able to join the other countries – now numbering 14 –
great competence.                                              which have signed the agreement.

But the world is faced with a triple crisis – a food crisis,   It is important to review and keep looking at how these
a financial crisis and an energy crisis – and its first        agreements are working. It is important with the interim
victims are the world’s poorest and neediest. But the          agreements that, as we move to full agreements, we take
Doha talks are ‘stalled’, as you put it, and, despite all      the opportunity – if they so wish and we so wish – to
pledges, EU aid levels are falling. Moreover, many ACP         look back and reflect on where we have come from.
countries feel that the negotiations on EPAs with Europe
are very difficult, to put it mildly. Some feel, if I may      But I want to do that in a spirit of recognition that this is
quote, that there has been ‘a knife at their throats’ while    a two-way street, that we are looking for the best
negotiating.                                                   possible agreements. I want us to build on the very good
                                                               work that has gone before but also to take it forward, so
Commissioner designate, how do you intend to better            that they feel they have the best possible agreement for
integrate the development perspective into trade policy,       them as well.
and what is your assessment of perhaps different
priorities? In other words, do you believe the                 I know that is complicated and complex, because in
Commission should or could show greater flexibility and        some countries those who wish to move forward and
sensitivity to developing countries’ needs as part of an       reform can be held back, and I know too that it is
effective two-way partnership?                                 important to take members of these committees here
                                                               with me as I do that.
1-044
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I am very           1-048
happy not to be the Baroness in this context and hope          Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (PPE-DE), Chairman of the
that people will soon be calling me Cathy, which is what       Committee on Foreign Affairs. – Baroness Ashton, I
I would prefer.                                                have no problem calling you ‘Baroness’ because I think
                                                               that lords are also citizens of the European Union.
You are absolutely right, Mr Berman, that the poorest
are hit hardest, and one only has to think about the           (Laughter)
impact of climate change, for example, in the world to
see how the poorest suffer the most. Add onto that all of      My question refers to a foreign policy aspect: the eastern
the other issues that we are very familiar with – and          neighbours. You know that we are living at a time when
growing more familiar with – and we recognise, all of          there are many proposals and even action undertaken in
us, that we have to do more.                                   order to have a stronger, enhanced dimension and
                                                               engagement of the European Union vis-à-vis our eastern
I also worry that, in times of economic downturn, the          neighbours.
propensity of nations to support others through aid will
be challenged and questioned. Therefore, it is important       My question is: should we push, as a Union, and proceed
too that we develop our own way of supporting those            towards the free trade area with countries like Ukraine,
nations to grow their economic capacity, to stand free         Moldova or Georgia? Would you see problems linked
and stand tall in the world, and be able to address their      with their readiness or preparedness to face the pressure
own concerns, whether education, poverty, health,              from our market? We want to have them as friends, and
themselves with our support. That must be our objective        friends among themselves, because this is an important
and especially now.                                            neighbourhood security aspect.

For me the priority is: how do we develop a negotiating        So, how deep should these free trade areas be, and how
style that enables us to do that? And when I come to           politically important would you see this engagement?
look at the arrangements we have, the negotiations and
                                                               1-049
agreements we have, and take them forward, we will
                                                               Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I was
make sure that that is part of what we do.
                                                               smiling partly because these are some of the questions
1-045                                                          that I have been actually reflecting on myself. I do think
Thijs Berman (PSE), Vice-Chair of the Committee on             it is important to develop strategic relationships with our
Development. – To follow up on this, if I may, how do          eastern neighbours, and I know that we have started
you intend to pursue negotiations with those ACP               discussions with Ukraine and Georgia. We are at
countries which have not been able to conclude an EPA          different stages in our deliberations with them, but they
yet? What factors could be convincing, in your opinion,        are very important.
to those which are still reluctant, like Haiti?
                                                               What we will need to do, I think, is look at how best to
1-046
                                                               develop those relationships: what makes greatest sense
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate. – Haiti has
                                                               for all of us, bearing in mind that, because they are near
had terrible problems with the hurricanes in the last few
                                                               neighbours, we have a very particular and potentially
months, and I know that has been a major issue for them.
                                                               very strong relationship with them, and bearing in mind
We will have to make sure that in our discussions we are
                                                               how best we can take it forward.
very mindful of that being a great difficulty for them. In
10                                                                                                        20-10-2008

                                                              Mandelson. How are you going to achieve progress on
So I will not pretend to you that I have a deep and           this, but also how are you going to achieve progress in
detailed answer to these questions yet, but I recognise       fighting child labour and ensuring better conditions on
that they are very important, and certainly the               the Chinese labour market?
partnership arrangements we have so far need to be built
upon.                                                         Secondly, the economic downturn affects us, too, and
                                                              will give rise to protectionist tendencies. You gave an
1-050
                                                              analysis of how you assess the remarks by President
Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (PPE-DE), Chairman of the
                                                              Sarkozy, but you will be faced with political bargaining
Committee on Foreign Affairs. – Going further to the
                                                              as to whether or not to use TDIs, which sometimes is
east, to Central Asia, should we reach out to the
                                                              more a majority vote based on political arguments than
countries there in terms of free trade, too? How should
                                                              one based on real facts and figures. How are you going
that be linked to the respect of those countries, such as
                                                              to deal with this when you are faced with this kind of
Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, for the
                                                              situation, since you have made it clear that you want
human rights dimension? With regard to China, your
                                                              open market access?
predecessor clearly dissociated the questions of human
rights and trade with China. How would you see those
                                                              My last question concerns counterfeiting and the ACTA
relations in terms of trade, and to what extent would you
                                                              negotiations. You made clear in your written statement
take account of the human rights and democracy aspect?
                                                              that you want to cooperate with the European Parliament
1-051                                                         and keep Parliament and our committee fully informed
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I alluded          on the preparations, conduct and conclusions of
earlier to the fact that trade is one strand of the work of   international negotiations. That has not really been the
the Commission, and of the 26 other Commissioners,            case up to now with the ACTA negotiations. Can we
spanning areas such as justice, human rights,                 now expect that openness on the ACTA negotiations as
development, foreign relations, agriculture and so on,        well?
and that there is an opportunity for the Commissioners to
                                                              1-054
work more closely in partnership, which I know my
                                                              Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  Thank
predecessor did.
                                                              you for those three questions. If I take the last one first:
                                                              yes, my ambition is to work with Parliament in the way
I see it in two ways. One, from my own background as a
                                                              in which Parliament wishes me to work. I have no doubt
human rights minister, I am very keen that we use all
                                                              that there will be many different views and information
available opportunities in our dialogues and debates with
                                                              that people would require, but this is also a two-way
other nations to be clear about our own values as regards
                                                              street, in that I know there is a lot of expertise and
human rights and our own views on human rights.
                                                              knowledge in Parliament and in the committee, and I
Equally, when we are looking at how we develop those
                                                              hope that I will be able to rely on that being available to
relationships, it is important that we, as Commissioners,
                                                              me as I think through some of the issues and questions
working with parliamentarians and with ministers from
                                                              that have been raised tonight and will be raised in the
nations which have particular relationships, develop that
                                                              future. It is my belief that the best relationship is where I
depth of relationship so that we can address these issues.
                                                              am as open and direct as possible, providing you with as
                                                              much information as I possibly can. Equally, my door is
Trade is one part of the jigsaw puzzle – but only one part
                                                              open for you to come and talk to me and ask me for
– and we need to work together to make sure that we can
                                                              information – or indeed ask me to come and talk to the
tackle these issues appropriately, viewing trade as part of
                                                              committee – and I will do that. It is what I have always
the solution but not the entire solution.
                                                              done as a parliamentarian, and I commit to doing that.
1-053
Corien Wortmann-Kool (PPE-DE). – Baroness or                  In terms of my approach to China, I think there is a real
Commissioner (I am not sure now, after this hearing has       interdependency with China. If you look at this
started, how to address you, but that will soon be clear),    incredible growth and what has happened to China over
it is a very difficult time for you to start as Trade         the last few years, it is extraordinary to see its
Commissioner, in the last half year of this European          development. But it raises huge issues and problems for
Commission, with your experience mainly in other              China as well. I know that my predecessor rightly put a
policy fields – although you have already convinced me        huge amount of energy into developing that relationship.
that you bring with you some very interesting skills –        My response to the first question would be that I would
and in these days of financial crisis and economic            also wish to continue the work that he has done. That
downturn, which will affect trade relations.                  will also encompass thinking through such issues as how
                                                              to develop a low-carbon economy. It will also make us
I would like to ask you some specific questions not with      think carefully about the way in which we want our
regard to the priorities, but concerning how you are          negotiations to go forward in terms of trade.
going to achieve progress. For instance, in EU-China
trade relations, market access has decreased instead of       In terms of TDIs and the ability to deal with defence
increased when you look at trade and non-trade barriers,      instruments, my view is very straightforward: the law is
despite the efforts of your predecessor, Commissioner         the law. We have a set of rules about this. We should
                                                                                                                   11
approach it by being transparent and clear about those       activity, it is an activity designed to grab market
rules. We should approach it by making certain that          share. There are potentially good benefits for consumers,
those who decide to dump know what the rules would           but ultimately in the long term there could be very
be, and we need to be clear that, if we think they are not   negative benefits for industry and commerce. So we
working, we need to negotiate to reach a consensus to        have to think very carefully about what actually is
change them.                                                 happening and what is going on.
1-055
                                                             If members of the committee want me to look again, and
Christofer Fjellner (PPE-DE). – Baroness, Europe’s
                                                             if they can demonstrate that there is a breadth of support
strength lies, in my view, with Europe’s ‘soft’ powers,
                                                             for this, I will be more than happy to do so. But I
of which I think trade policy and the access to our
                                                             understand that this is a road well trodden and that we
markets are maybe the most important. We have used
                                                             need to do it carefully and properly and try and get that
that access to our markets and that soft power of trade
                                                             consensus.
policy to help friends in ACP countries and
neighbouring nations for a long time. Right now one of       1-057
our friends – Georgia – is under great pressure. I wonder    Christofer Fjellner (PPE-DE). – First, when it comes
how you think you can use trade policy to support            to Georgia, please come back and do it soon because
Georgia at this time. Are you willing maybe to consider      there is a pressing and urgent need to show leadership
the autonomous suspension of tariffs to Georgia, a tool      and to show our commitment to Georgia. Personally, I
that we have previously used with regard to Moldova          urge you to come back to the question of trade defence
and the Western Balkans? Do you think that could be          instruments in one way or another, because we need to
one step?                                                    keep the debate going in that area.

A second question: you talked earlier about trade            Last but not least, I would like you to comment on
defence instruments. The use of those instruments and        another important question, and that is the export tariffs
the regulations that govern them have been sparking a        on timber that Russia has and which are hurting a lot of
lot of debate in this committee and, I think, in the trade   industry in Finland, Sweden, Poland and Germany – a
community in Europe in general. One thing, I believe, is     lot of European countries right now. This is not
obvious, and that is that, even though we disagree on        compatible with future WTO membership for Russia. I
how those instruments might look, we agree on the fact       wonder if you can promise to actually address that
that we are not really happy with how they are working       question, if and when you get the possibility to meet the
– we may view them from different perspectives, but I        Russians and talk about trade policy, because I know
have not sensed that there is happiness with how they        that a lot of citizens are concerned about this.
function now. Your predecessor proposed a review of
                                                             1-058
the trade defence instruments and the rules governing
                                                             Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I know
them, but that was postponed, I do not know whether
                                                             from what I have gleaned so far that the timber question
indefinitely or not. Do you envisage to reopen this
                                                             is a really big issue for Finland in particular, and
question and to propose a review of the trade defence
                                                             certainly, as we look at our relations with Russia, we
instruments?
                                                             will need, as we develop these – you will know far more
1-056                                                        at this stage than I do – and when we look at the
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.                    partnership and cooperation agreement, to consider the
Concerning Georgia: I need to look very carefully at         specifics of issues such as timber for the future, and I
this, as I cannot pretend for a moment that I have           will certainly do that.
thought through all of the implications of what we might
do. I had, when I was a justice minister, the privilege of   On trade defence instruments, perhaps you can come to
meeting a number of ministers from Georgia and talking       me with some ideas for where you think reform could
with them. I think we need to consider very carefully our    take place, and where you think we can develop the kind
relationships with that country and with the region. I       of consensus to take it forward, because I know you
hesitate to go further at this point. I am sure you will     appreciate the fact that reforms need to happen with a
appreciate and understand why.                               consensual approach. Until then, I will abide by the rules
                                                             that have been set and I will take into account, in so
Concerning TDIs: I think not only my predecessor, but        doing, the issues that, I have no doubt, people will raise
his predecessor Pascal Lamy, considered the matter of        with me. If we are able to move forward and you think
reviews. What I think is very important is that we look      that there is a reform that would be even better than that
for consensus in a review and the stage we reached in        which we have now, I have an open door.
previous reviews was that there was no sense of a
                                                             1-059
consensus that could grow. Certainly I will want to
                                                             Der Vorsitzende.  Vielleicht darf ich der Kommissarin
examine whether there could be a consensus, whether
                                                             kurz erklären, warum dieses allgemeine Lächeln um sich
within Parliament or amongst the Member States, about
                                                             gegriffen hat. Wir hatten eine lange Debatte bei uns im
how we might take this forward.
                                                             Ausschuss über dieses Thema, und wir haben innerhalb
                                                             des Ausschusses keinen Konsens gefunden. Deswegen
For the moment, the really important thing is to be clear
                                                             war das jetzt sozusagen die direkte Reaktion.
about our policy and our strategy on this. When products
come on to the market in this way it is not a benign         1-060
12                                                                                                        20-10-2008

David Martin (PSE). – Commissioner designate, you             hope that as I begin to develop my approach to this and
are absolutely right – and I agree with you – that, once      talk with them, I will also be able to take Parliament
you become a Commissioner, you will have a very able          further with me on seeing what an important vehicle the
and committed – and I would even add motivated – team         EPAs can be for development.
behind you. But even with these qualities you do not
                                                              1-062
always get it right, and some of us in this Parliament
                                                              David Martin (PSE). – Following on from that, you
have serious doubts about the development model that is
                                                              started to answer what would have been my
entrenched in the EPAs that we are negotiating, and in
                                                              supplementary question, and I am delighted you have. It
some cases have completed.
                                                              is clear that some of our partners have signed EPAs
                                                              because they looked into the abyss and saw the
I would like to ask you, firstly: if you disagree with your
                                                              alternative: not because of enthusiasm for EPAs
officials, will you be prepared to take them on, to fight
                                                              themselves, but because the alternatives were so dire.
internally, to change policy? Because it is very easy for a
                                                              That means there is, in my opinion, a lot of rebuilding to
Commissioner to be swept along by the administration,
                                                              be done in terms of trust between ourselves, and some of
and I think what this Parliament looks for is a
                                                              the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. You said
Commissioner who is prepared to stand up to the
                                                              that you would start to talk to them, but I think it is very
services when it is appropriate. Also, as regards the 13
                                                              important – and I wonder if you agree – that, in your
Caribbean countries that have signed a full-blown
                                                              new role, you start to rebuild the relationship between
Economic Partnership Agreement: once you are in
                                                              the EU and these countries.
office, will you look at this agreement, will you look at
how it functions, and, if it is not serving a good            1-063
development model, how will you try and reform it?            Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I cannot
How will you amend it to make sure that it achieves the       comment on the state of the relationship, because I have
objectives we wish to see achieved?                           not spoken to them.
1-061
                                                              What I am very clear about is that this must be a process
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I look at
                                                              where they feel that it is to their advantage. I understand,
my officials as I say this because there is a group of
                                                              having been a government minister for many years, that
them up there. Having been a minister in government for
                                                              when you are trying to move into a new way forward,
eight years, I have always valued the expertise and
                                                              taking the population with you is also a huge challenge.
advice of officials. I have absolutely no doubt that the
                                                              Sometimes in a government it means that you have to
quality of expertise and advice I will get here will be
                                                              politically demonstrate your reforming zeal in order to
second to none. But, in the end, I am the Commissioner
                                                              achieve that and, in a sense, lead really from the front,
and, in the end, it has to be my decision – based on that
                                                              and that creates its own difficulties as well. Our job is to
high-quality advice and also on my best judgement – and
                                                              make sure that we are developing the best possible
I have no fear in saying at the end of the process of
                                                              partnership and move that forward.
thinking and listening that, if I disagree, I will plough
another course. That is certainly my experience, but I        1-064
will do it in the spirit of wanting to work with my           Der Vorsitzende.  Frau Kommissarin, es ist keine
officials and not seeking to set myself up against them.      Unhöflichkeit, wenn ich leise mit dem Hammer klopfe,
                                                              das ist einfach die Notwendigkeit der Zeiteinhaltung und
In terms of the Caribbean EPA, 14 countries have now          auch der Fairness unter den Kollegen. Das bitte ich mir
signed it. Guyana signed today. The country that has not      dann auch nachzusehen.
– as we have already discussed – is Haiti, for other
                                                              1-065
reasons. That is an important moment. However, built
                                                              Georgios Papastamkos (PPE-DE). – In light of the
into the proposals – particularly for Guyana – is the
                                                              developments since the beginning of the Doha Round
review process, which is very important to me. This
                                                              negotiations seven years ago – for example, the growing
means that we will review within five years and look
                                                              economic and political importance of emerging
carefully at what has happened. However, my additional
                                                              economies, the rise in food prices, global challenges
commitment is to make sure that we keep a watching
                                                              such as climate change and the recent financial crisis –
brief on how it evolves from now on.
                                                              do you think that the Doha Round mandate is still
                                                              relevant?
With the interim agreements that have been signed, I do
not want to go over the past but, as we move from             1-066
interim to full agreements, it may be that there are          Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I do. I
aspects of the interim agreement that we – or they –          think it is more relevant. The importance of a
would wish to re-examine because we are moving to a           multilateral approach at the present time cannot be
full agreement. I am of course committed to doing that.       overstated.
It would be a good, sensible approach to dealing with the
policy.                                                       If we are able to move forward, we may be able to have
                                                              the kind of negotiation and agreement that – in my view
One thing I have not been able to do, of course, is talk to   – will stand us in good stead to weather the storm of all
any of the countries involved, let alone visit them, and I    of the issues you quite rightly raise. It will not be easy,
                                                                                                                     13
but in economic terms, for the major countries of the        that should be the expectation of other nations should
world and for the developing countries, I think it is the    they so choose. I will enforce the rules as they stand and
right approach to take.                                      make sure that that is seen to be the case. However, it
                                                             does not mean that I am not open to looking to see
As I have said, my first energies will go into seeing        whether in certain sets of circumstances or in the
where we stand with those negotiations, and where we         generality the rules in the future need to be changed.
believe we can get to. I understand, particularly for the
United States and for India, that elections are very close   What we simply cannot do is have uncertainty: we have
in the one and heading closer in the other, and those will   to have clarity.
be big question marks at the present time. But the Doha
                                                             1-071
Round is very very important.
                                                             Elisa Ferreira (PSE). – On a follow-up, Europe is
1-067                                                        moving very seriously into climate compromises that
Georgios Papastamkos (PPE-DE). – Baroness Ashton,            will affect industry and can create carbon leakage. The
do you agree that market opening needs to be                 Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs made a
complemented by positive integration sustaining              statement asking the Commission to start, as early as
convergence in the establishment of common rules?            possible, international negotiations with main trading
                                                             partners on sectoral compromises, with benchmarks for
1-068
                                                             the main sectors.
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  The
whole point about the WTO, from our point of view, is
                                                             Are you willing to address this issue in your future job?
that it is much easier to think about negotiations on free
trade agreements and so on with those parties who have       1-072
already signed up to the WTO rules. That is a critical       Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  It is very
part of being able to have the kind of negotiation and       important that we deal with issues of carbon leakage,
open dialogue we want: the framework is set. The             and it is very important that we consider the economic
framework, I believe, will become even more important.       and environmental consequences of what we do. There
So, this a really important time for the WTO.                is no question that climate change, and the issues that
                                                             stem from it, are fundamental to our future, and we
1-069
                                                             cannot compromise those in the sense of not seeing them
Elisa Ferreira (PSE). – Baroness Ashton, thank you for
                                                             as fundamental. I would therefore want to be very alert
being here and for everything you have said. I would
                                                             to the need to think about environmental issues in a way
like to welcome you, but also to recognise that we are in
                                                             that works effectively from the trade portfolio, and in
the middle of one of the biggest financial crises that the
                                                             conjunction with those who have greater responsibility
world has lived through since the 1930s. That financial
                                                             for those issues. I see this as another area in which we
crisis has come on top of very strong trade imbalances,
                                                             can work together, across the Commission, and also with
and now the consequences are being felt by small and
                                                             Parliament, to see what more can be done.
medium-sized enterprises and by the real economy. In
this context, I personally do not think that we should       1-073
revise the existing rules, but rather reinforce them, and    Daniel Caspary (PPE-DE). – Ich habe vorab eine
my question is: how do you see the enforcement of the        Bemerkung. Die Wirtschaftspartnerschaftsabkommen
existing rules, namely TDIs? Can they be made more           wurden schon mehrfach angesprochen. Ich möchte Ihnen
clear, more accessible to small and medium-sized             nur mit auf den Weg geben, dass nicht alle hier im Haus
enterprises, more understandable, less political,            das so negativ sehen wie diejenigen, die das bisher
probably, and more enforceable even at the level of          angesprochen haben. Aber ich habe drei Fragen. In Ihren
monitoring of what is happening in relation to imports?      schriftlichen Antworten schreiben Sie, dass Sie die
                                                             Einbindung des Parlaments ausweiten wollen
My last question: do you believe that you can influence      beispielsweise durch – ich zitiere: „die Weitergabe aller
your colleagues so that the problem of exchange rates,       sachdienlichen       Informationen,        d.h.      die
namely the Chinese rate, is better managed                   Gleichbehandlung des EP mit dem Rat“.
internationally?
                                                             Meine Frage ist: Welche zusätzlichen Informationen
1-070
                                                             wollen Sie uns konkret in Zukunft geben?
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I hesitate
to give a view on the latter question at this stage in my
                                                             Die zweite Frage: Sind Sie dafür, aus Umweltgründen
fledgling career.
                                                             protektionistische Maßnahmen zu ergreifen?
In terms of the role of trade defence instruments, what I
                                                             Und die dritte Frage zum Thema TEC. Was werden Sie
was trying to say is that we have a set of rules that need
                                                             tun, um den TEC-Prozess nach den US-
to be well understood, that have been agreed and thus far
                                                             Präsidentschaftswahlen weiter zu stärken, und welche
carry a strong consensus. There will be different views
                                                             Themen sind aus Ihrer Sicht prioritär?
and, as has already been pointed out by the Chair, strong
and different views in the committee.                        1-074
                                                             Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  Three
First of all, we need to make it clear that these are the    very large questions, if I might say so, but very
rules and that if they are broken we will take action, and   interesting.
14                                                                                                        20-10-2008

                                                              from the principle of saying we have to achieve as much
In a large sense it is up to Parliament to tell me what       as we possibly can, both in the lifetime of this
Parliament wants to hear from me. I will try and provide      Commission but also to set up for the next Commission
what I can and what I know to be relevant, but it will be     the best possible opportunities. So it needs to be an area
for parliamentarians to say to me: ‘we would like you to      where we develop the relationship as strong as we
come and discuss these issues or provide us with this         possibly can, bearing in mind, of course, that there will
information’, and as far as I possibly can I will seek to     be a change of administration in whichever way that
comply. But I am in your hands. This is not for me to         goes in the United States. But we do need to make sure
say: it is for you to say.                                    that we are developing that relationship as much as
                                                              possible and considering whether we have got it right,
In terms of environmental issues, I think we have got to      whether we need to strengthen it, whether we need to
be very careful about what I described as ‘protectionism’     change it as well.
and the use of that word. It tends to be used in all sorts
                                                              1-077
of contexts. What is very clear is that tackling the
                                                              Daniel Varela Suanzes-Carpegna (PPE-DE). –
environmental issues that we face needs to be done not
                                                              Anteriormente dio usted una respuesta muy genérica a
only from the European Union level but a global level
                                                              una pregunta que se le formuló y me gustaría que
and we need to think about Copenhagen 2009 and the
                                                              pudiera usted precisar algo más.
opportunity that that affords us and to work to support
the outcome of that.
                                                              ¿Qué le sugiere a usted Latinoamérica?
In terms of the TECH provisions, I have had a brief           1-078
conversation with Susan Schwab already. I hope that if I      Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  We
am confirmed that I will be able to talk with her in          started negotiations in the Andean Community, and I
greater detail. We plan to get together and to consider       know that our ambition is to try and move that forward
how we take forward the issues, the transatlantic issues,     over the next 12-18 months to see what we can achieve,
that need to be raised, and I will do that as a priority.     and I am very well aware of what we are doing in
                                                              Mercosur from the early conversations that I have had. I
1-075
                                                              think we have had a number of rounds of negotiations on
Daniel Caspary (PPE-DE). – Ich möchte noch einmal
                                                              that. We need to look as well at our relationship with
nachfragen. Im schriftlichen Teil Ihrer Antwort
                                                              Brazil and the bilateral relationship that come from that.
unterschreiben Sie, dass Sie bei der Weitergabe aller
sachdienlichen      Informationen     das    Europäische
                                                              My view is that we need to develop those relationships
Parlament mit dem Rat gleichbehandeln wollen. Das war
                                                              preferably, as I have already said, in terms of regions or
ja tatsächlich eine deutliche Steigerung im Vergleich zur
                                                              subregions and to see how best we can develop our trade
Informationspolitik Ihres Vorgängers. Hierzu meine
                                                              relationships in that way, but we have to be prepared, if
Frage: Stehen Sie zu dem, was Sie uns schriftlich
                                                              necessary, to develop with different countries the
versprochen haben?
                                                              opportunities for each of them on a bilateral basis.
Die Frage noch einmal zum Thema TEC: Glauben Sie              1-079
wirklich, dass es uns gelingt, dieses Thema bei den           Daniel Varela Suanzes-Carpegna (PPE-DE). – En este
Ratspräsidentschaften – sei es bei der französischen im       ámbito, en este contexto de Doha al que usted se ha
Moment, sei es bei der künftigen Ratspräsidentschaft –        referido, ¿usted sería partidaria, en la situación actual, de
so auf die Tagesordnung zu setzen, dass der TEC auch          retomar las negociaciones con Mercosur?
von europäischer Seite die nötige Unterstützung und den
nötigen Druck bekommt, damit wir wirklich zu                  Nosotros hemos aprobado en este Parlamento un
substantiellen Ergebnissen im Rahmen der Gespräche            informe que usted posiblemente conozca, en donde
mit den Freunden in Amerika kommen?                           hablamos de que, si se llegara a formalizar ese acuerdo,
                                                              sería la primera área de libre comercio en el planeta.
1-076
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I reiterate
                                                              Por lo tanto, dada la situación de Doha en este momento
my answer to the first question. I have made it clear
                                                              (usted ha hablado de Brasil, estamos hablando del
where I stand on providing information. I have a track
                                                              bloque Mercosur), ¿usted sería personalmente partidaria
record in making sure that my parliament back in the
                                                              de retomar en este momento esas negociaciones, de
UK received all the information that it required. I do not
                                                              darles un impulso político?
know whether you feel that there have been gaps in
information. If there are, we need to consider how best       1-080
to deal with that. So, I am in your hands in the sense that   Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I am.
you know if there are things you would like to receive –      There are 300 million people in the Mercosur region and
information you would like to get and that we need to         certainly post-Doha we will have to come back and look
supply to you. That is the point that I am trying to make.    at this relationship because it is so important. I hesitate
                                                              only because I think we need to look carefully about
Do I think we can make significant progress with the          what is happening in the Doha Round first, but certainly
United States? Well, I think we should – I think we           Mercosur is an area that we should be focusing on.
should certainly try and do that. I have to approach this
                                                                                                                      15
1-081
                                                               región donde tenemos prevista una zona de libre
Carlos Carnero González (PSE). – Señora Presidenta,            cambio a muy corto plazo. ¿Qué importancia le va a dar
me voy a dirigir a la futura Comisaria −eso espero−            usted al trabajo con el Mediterráneo desde su cartera?
como nos ha pedido, por el diminutivo de su nombre de
pila, Cathy.                                                   1-084
                                                               Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  There is a
Me gustaría referirme de nuevo a su respuesta escrita a        range of different issues there. As for the developments
nuestra pregunta sobre el papel del Parlamento Europeo         in the Mediterranean basin, I do not know enough about
y la posibilidad de establecer un Acuerdo                      them yet to give you a strong and sensible answer. As
interinstitucional que adelante el contenido de las            regards a parliamentary assembly, that takes us into
disposiciones del Tratado de Lisboa.                           WTO reform. For my part, I want to make sure that the
                                                               parliamentarians from the European Union are involved
Yo creo que todos estamos convencidos de que, en la            in the thinking and development. I know they
actual crisis financiera, si algo debemos poner encima de      participated in supporting us in our negotiations on Doha
la mesa, es la economía real y la economía real pasa por       before, and I hope they will do so in the future.
el comercio de bienes y servicios. Pero, por mucho que
                                                               1-085
lo digamos (yo publico hoy un artículo en El País              Tokia Saïfi (PPE-DE). – Monsieur le Président,
precisamente en esa dirección), hay sectores de nuestra        Madame, vous avez remarqué que vous avez beaucoup
opinión pública que se sienten a veces muy inquietos:          de questions sur les relations entre le Parlement
«¿Qué va a pasar con los productos que yo fabrico en mi        européen et la Commission, et notamment vous-même,
país? ¿Esta liberación los va a poner en peligro?»             et ce pour vous dire que votre prédécesseur a brillé dans
                                                               l'art de la désinformation apportée aux parlementaires
Llego a la conclusión de que la manera de tranquilizar a       que nous sommes, et je le dis tout à fait sereinement.
la ciudadanía es la participación parlamentaria, en este
caso, del Parlamento Europeo.                                  Vous nous avez déclaré tout à l'heure que vous étiez
                                                               parlementaire dans l'âme, alors j'espère, Madame
Yo le pregunto: ¿Acuerdo interinstitucional sí o no, más       Ashton, que vous vous distinguerez par vos qualités en
allá de sus buenas intenciones?                                communication parlementaire et que vous préférerez la
1-082                                                          tribune du Parlement européen plutôt que celle du
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  We have             Financial Times, comme M. Mandelson.
to abide, in the legal sense, with where we are in terms
of our Treaties at the present time. I have spent 76 hours     En ce qui concerne les instruments de défense
of my life getting the Lisbon Treaty through the House         commerciale, vous avez vu que c'est un sujet qui est
of Lords. I would very much like to see it come into           récurrent, qui est revenu régulièrement. Je voudrais vous
force.                                                         confirmer d'abord qu'il n'y a pas de consensus comme l'a
                                                               dit le président dans notre commission, et je vais aller
I think within it there are institutional changes that are     plus loin: il n'y a même pas de consensus dans nos
recognised as really important for the future running of       groupes politiques. Nous avons eu des débats
the European Union, and a lot of them are about the role       extrêmement acharnés. En tout cas, il n'y aura pas de
of the European Parliament. It is a democratic institution     majorité pour une réforme qui affaiblirait ces
that represents the people whom we are all here to serve.      instruments.
So for my part, in the ways in which I am able to, I
would wish to fully involve you in my thinking,                J'en viens à ma question. Madame, en ce qui concerne le
discussions and deliberations. I cannot commit the             volet "développement" de Doha, ne pensez-vous pas que
Commission or anybody else to move beyond what the             les bases actuelles de discussion passent à côté de
legal position currently is, nor should I, but for my part I   l'objectif de développement des pays les plus pauvres?
am very keen to be working closely with                        En effet, l'accord envisagé ne conduira-t-il pas à
parliamentarians. You are the representatives of the           favoriser les pays agro-exportateurs avec, parmi eux, les
people; I am here to serve them.                               pays émergents, au détriment des intérêts des pays les
                                                               plus pauvres?
1-083
Carlos Carnero González (PSE). – Siguiendo con los             1-086

Parlamentos, también en su respuesta escrita hay una           Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  In terms
referencia que me parece muy laxa al papel de la               of my style, one of the criticisms that have been levied at
Asamblea Parlamentaria sobre la Organización Mundial           me in the last two weeks is that the press do not know
del Comercio (a la que yo me dirigí en nombre de esta          me as well as they have known other commissioners. I
Casa a principios de septiembre sobre la conclusión de la      hope that this reassures you that my instinct is to talk to
Ronda de Doha). Yo me pregunto si usted estaría a favor        my parliamentary colleagues and not to the newspapers.
de que una reforma de la OMC incluyera a esa                   I accept what you say about trade defence instruments; I
Asamblea como una institución de la organización.              think it is going to be one of those very interesting
                                                               dialogues that we will have, and I believe that the
El Tratado de Lisboa −todos hemos trabajado mucho por          purpose of Doha should be to try and support economies
él, como lo hicimos antes por la Constitución los que          that are emerging, economies that are developing – and,
participamos en la Convención− habla también del               of course, the poorest. Though of course from the
entorno cercano, y el Mediterráneo es, precisamente, una       European Union perspective, we have sought to support
16                                                                                                       20-10-2008

the poorest economies by making sure that they have           Jürgen Schröder (PPE-DE), on behalf of the
access to our markets and not seeking to be reciprocal in     Committee on Development. – Let me refer to the
the way we have dealt with it. I think within the             present financial crisis, but look at it from another point
agricultural question that was put on the table – which       of view. Given the crisis, how do you plan to convince
did not get resolved – there was much that we can be          EU Member States to stick to their promises on ODA
sure would support economies right across the globe. It       and to spend money, in particular on aid for trade, to
was a big move for us based on the CAP reforms. I think       make up for net customs revenues lost by ACP
it would be very important to go back and look at where       countries?
we now believe we can move to in trying to deal with
                                                              1-092
that particular question to try and get a good negotiated
                                                              Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  If you
settlement.
                                                              think about what we have been discussing this evening,
1-087                                                         about the value and importance of open trade as a
Tokia Saïfi (PPE-DE). – Monsieur le Président, une            solution to the economic and financial issues that we all
autre question. Cela fait plus de sept ans que les            face, I believe you arrive very quickly at the point of
négociations de Doha s'enlisent. Je pense vraiment qu'il      considering how best to develop the markets that we
est temps de repenser le fonctionnement de l'OMC.             want to see with countries whose economies are
Comment peut-on continuer à déconnecter les                   growing, so that they will wish to purchase the goods
discussions commerciales des autres enjeux majeurs            that we produce.
auxquels est confronté le monde, telle la crise financière,
alimentaire ou encore environnementale?                       So it is investment for the future; it is thinking about
                                                              how we use the money to enable them to be able to trade
1-088
                                                              with us as free-standing nations – not as nations in
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I said
                                                              receipt of our money just to keep going, but rather to be
earlier that the reality is that seven years is not unusual
                                                              able to develop and grow themselves. And that is really
as a time span for these negotiations. I am going to run
                                                              fundamental to the approach that I will take.
out of time, but I wonder how far trying to unpick the
interrelationship between issues in the end takes us to a     1-093
place we do not want to be. I accept that trade has to be     Ioan Mircea Paşcu (PSE), on behalf of the Committee
very clear but, as I have already indicated, we need to       on Foreign Affairs. – Baroness Ashton, I should like to
work collectively across the Commission to think about        refer again to the EU-Mercosur agreement and the
these issues as a whole.                                      discussions and association agreement. I would like to
                                                              know how you perceive the position of Brazil and our
1-089
                                                              strategic partnership with that country vis-à-vis these
Jürgen Schröder (PPE-DE), on behalf of the
                                                              negotiations. If we value this relationship, can we count
Committee on Development. – Baroness Ashton, my
                                                              on a swift conclusion of the negotiations?
question is development-oriented. It relates to trade
other than goods. In your view, how important is trade in     1-094
services as a means of diversifying the economies of          Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  Certainly
ACP countries? Would you please be so kind as to              Brazil attaches great importance, as I understand it, to
elaborate your position on trade in services, and on its      Mercosur and to moving forward on the negotiations. I
role in creating growth in ACP countries and in               do not yet feel I am in a position to tell you how speedily
attracting foreign direct investment?                         I believe those negotiations should be able to reach any
                                                              kind of conclusion. However, I think it is very important
1-090
                                                              that we start with the multilateral talks, that we look at
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  Trade, as
                                                              Mercosur as a group and that we work closely with
I was explaining earlier, is, in my view, a more
                                                              Brazil, who very clearly want to see us do that in that
sophisticated thing than simply goods. I think services
                                                              way.
are very important.
                                                              1-095
The country that I know best has a very strong service        Ioan Mircea Paşcu (PSE), on behalf of the Committee
economy. The European Union has a great mixture: it           on Foreign Affairs. – My second question would be this:
has a huge manufacturing base, but it also has service        in general, do you see the added value of individual
economies. The development, in other countries, of the        partnership reinforcing the regional approach followed
ability to trade in services is very important.               by the Union, within the framework of the EU-LAC
                                                              biregional strategy partnership?
The question is how we do it. The issues that colleagues
                                                              1-096
have raised around the move beyond goods into services
                                                              Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I do see
on EPAs are very important, as is making sure that those
                                                              the added value. One of the areas that I want to look at
countries with which we are working know what it is
                                                              very carefully is how best in all our relationships –
they are doing, know the benefits and are able to
                                                              whether they are multilateral, hopefully through the
diversify and grow their own base as well, and that we
                                                              Doha agreements, the bilateral and the regional
can help them do that.
                                                              negotiated agreements that we have – we can consider
1-091                                                         them and add value to them. So certainly I will look at
                                                                                                                      17
this. I do not yet have a strong and clear view about          need’ is in a sense the mantra that I have already
where I would wish to take that, but there is no doubt         heard said. And it is not easy, particularly if this is
that it is important.                                          something very new and you are taking your nation into
                                                               a completely different place. So what we have got to do
1-097
                                                               is look back and reflect on the process and consider that,
Glenys Kinnock (PSE). – It has been very encouraging
                                                               however good it is, you can always make it better – how
for us to hear your commitment to an inclusive and
                                                               we can do that.
consensual approach and to working closely with this
Parliament. I trust that you will work closely not only
                                                               I clearly have much to do with the Development
with this committee, but also the Development
                                                               Committee and with the members of this committee to
Committee and with the Joint Parliamentary Assembly,
                                                               consider how we take it forward. I take on board the
where you will have the privilege of addressing 78
                                                               point made – that there are huge supporters of EPAs and
parliamentarians from the ACP, and I look forward to
                                                               its potential, and I take nothing from what anyone has
the time when you do that. As others have suggested,
                                                               said that suggests that is not the case. We are in a sense
David Martin in particular, the negotiations can fairly be
                                                               discussing how best to achieve that. But I will do my
described as having been very bruising and an
                                                               utmost, without unravelling everything, without looking
acrimonious experience for the ACP, and you have said
                                                               back in any negative way, but rather: how do we move
that you will want to build those bridges, and I very
                                                               forward, and how do we turn interim agreements into
much believe that you are the right person to do that.
                                                               full agreements in a way that is supported by Parliament
                                                               and by the countries as well?
One of the suggestions that I would like to make to you
is that you encourage President Barroso to keep his            1-099
Lisbon promises and to meet the ACP at the highest             Béla Glattfelder (PPE-DE). – Bárónő! A bevezetőjében
level as soon as possible with your intervention and after     ön azt mondta, hogy a globalizáció jó irányba viszi a
your intervention, so as to address their concerns with        világot. A környezet pusztítása viszont egyre súlyosabb
them. I think that would be a very helpful way of              gond. Hát ez nem is meglepő, mert a jelenlegi szabályok
reducing the tension.                                          versenyelőnyhöz juttatják azokat az országokat, amelyek
                                                               kevésbé      szigorú    környezetvédelmi     szabályokat
Another major source of tension is the fact that the ACP       alkalmaznak. Ön szerint folytathatók-e a WTO-
countries believe that not enough flexibility has been         tárgyalások anélkül, hogy környezetvédelmi szabályok
shown towards them during the negotiations, particularly       is felkerüljenek a napirendre? Nem lát-e ellentmondást
in their wish to have the right to revisit the interim         abban, hogy miközben Európában és a világ más részén
agreements. What surprises me is that we now know that         is egyre nagyobb az igény arra, hogy a pénzügyi
texts have been submitted to Council that have been            szolgáltatásokat szigorúbban szabályozzuk, aközben az
changed by the European Commission, not least the              Európai Unió egyik legfontosabb célkitűzése a WTO-
SADC text, which has been changed to delete South              tárgyalásokon a pénzügyi szolgáltatásoknak a
Africa, the TDCA and the Cotonou Partnership                   liberalizálása? És végezetül: az EU kinyilvánította a
Agreement from the text; also Ghana, Mozambique, on            szándékát, hogy egy mély szabadkereskedelmi
liberalisation schedules, and other examples could be          megállapodást hozzon létre Ukrajnával, azért, hogy az
mentioned too. This is not an easy issue to raise with         ország nyugati orientációját megerősítse. Újabban
you now, I am sure, but I hope that you will use these         viszont növekszik a kockázata annak, hogy Ukrajnában
examples of what the Commission has done as setting a          az oroszbarát politikai erők fognak felülkerekedni. Ilyen
precedent for your ability now to move ahead and allow         körülmények között is indokoltnak tartja-e egy mélyebb
the ACP to do the same and revisit the interim                 szabadkereskedelmi megállapodás megkötését?
agreements.
                                                               1-100
1-098                                                          Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I think on
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  What                the latter point concerning Ukraine, it is important that
your intervention highlights is just what an issue I feel      Ukraine is able to determine its own destiny. We should
we have around, if nothing else, communication. As I           be working with all nations with whom it is appropriate
understand it, the only changes which can be initialled        to have a free trade agreement or to have negotiated
are changes that are agreed between the partners. But,         trade discussions in order to help them achieve that.
again, I am very conscious that there are real issues
about making sure we understand from each other                As regards financial services, I think it is very important
precisely what is going on. That brings me back to many        that we get smarter regulation. I do not see a
of the comments that have been made about working              contradiction between liberalisation and good regulation.
closely with Parliament.                                       The question that we have to face is to make sure that
                                                               the regulation we have is fit for purpose. There is no
I think dialogue with the ACP countries is very                doubt in my mind that we need to consider very
important, and I think everybody needs to be willing and       carefully – as individual Member States, as a Parliament,
able to talk with them about any of the issues of concern.     as a European Union and, indeed, as a world – how to
These are difficult things to do, I know, and I am sure        make sure that the regulation we have is appropriate for
that in negotiation it has been difficult for other            the world in which we are living. It is arguable whether
countries, just as it would be difficult for us. It is never   the regulation in fact was not fit for what was then to
easy. ‘You do not get what you want: you get what you          come. We need to be smarter about regulation.
18                                                                                                      20-10-2008
                                                             1-104

In terms of other issues that you have raised, incentives    Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I think I
are also an issue that I want to consider very carefully.    have said quite clearly that for me, looking at Doha is
How do we incentivise nations to tackle some of the          the first and most important question. If I am fortunate to
questions that you have raised – quite reasonably and        be confirmed, I have an appointment with Mr Lamy on
rightly – about the environment?                             Wednesday evening in Geneva and discussions with
                                                             others on Thursday to see where they believe their
1-101                                                        discussions have got to since the pause, the stalling,
Béla Glattfelder (PPE-DE). – Én úgy ítélem meg, hogy         whatever word we would wish to use, in July.
Ukrajna      függését    Oroszországtól    nem     lehet
semlegesíteni semmilyen mélységű szabadkereskedelmi          I do agree that, at times of economic difficulty, in a
megállapodással. Ellenben, ha egy oroszbarát kormány         sense it challenges us to go back and think carefully
jön létre, akkor nagyon nagy az esélye annak, hogy a         about whether we can now move to an agreement and, as
származási szabályok kijátszásával az általunk nyújtott      I think many members of the committee would agree, it
kereskedelmi kedvezményeket közvetett módon az               is a moment to think about openness as being part of the
oroszok fogják élvezni, annak ellenére, hogy ők bármit       solution and not to think about moving inward and being
is vállalnának a velünk való kereskedelemben – akár a        protectionist, because we know that that will not solve
WTO szabályait magukra nézve is alkalmaznák. Ön a            the problem.
bevezetőjében azt is említette, hogy felkívánja venni a
harcot a klímaváltozással szemben. Azt hiszem, hogy          1-105

erre egyetlen egy esélye van önnek, ebben az egy évben,      Peter Šťastný (PPE-DE). – On a different issue, I
amíg biztos lesz, hogyha a WTO napirendjére fölteteti –      would like to pick your brain a little bit over the
és ehhez ragaszkodik – a környezetvédelmi kérdéseket.        ever-increasing trade with China. Could this somehow
Kereskedelempolitikai eszközökkel csak a WTO-n               be used to improve human rights in that country?
keresztül lehet a klímaváltozással szemben fellépni. Én      1-106
egyébként azt hiszem, hogy az Európai Unió – Peter           Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  As I said
Mandelson – egy rossz tárgyalási stratégiát, taktikát        before, you have to look at trade being a particular
választott akkor, amikor a tárgyalások elején nagyon         aspect of a bigger relationship with another state. I know
erős kedvezményeket nyújtott, nagyon sok vállalást tett      there have been many discussions with China on
annak érdekében, hogy a pénzügyi szolgáltatások              different aspects of human rights over the years, and I
liberalizálását elérjük. Ezek a kezdeti, nagyon erős         see this as being part of that bigger relationship. We
kedvezmények tulajdonképpen elvették az érdekeltségét        have to look very carefully at how we develop that
a partnereinknek attól, hogy ezekben a tárgyalásokban        relationship, across the Commission, in order to tackle
ők is vállalásokat tegyenek.                                 some of these other questions – be they health issues in
1-102
                                                             China, a low-carbon economy or human rights questions
Der Vorsitzende.  Darauf kann die Kommissarin               etc. – so that we can put together the jigsaw puzzle of
leider nicht mehr antworten, da die Zeit abgelaufen ist.     that relationship.
Es tut mir leid.                                             1-107

1-103
                                                             Kader Arif (PSE). – Monsieur le Président, Madame
Peter Šťastný (PPE-DE). – Baroness, congratulations          Ashton – je préfère vous appeler Mme Ashton parce
on your nomination. Welcome to this committee.               que, pour le républicain que je suis, si je vous avais
                                                             appelé Madame la Baronne, nous qui avons un rapport
You mentioned in your opening remarks that the Doha          cruel avec notre noblesse, ça aurait été un peu
Round is central to your work and to trade. As we know,      compliqué –, sur la base des réponses que vous avez
Doha is right now on a life support machine. In the          amenées jusqu'à maintenant, il n'y a pas de raison qu'on
springtime we were putting a lot of hope in the summer,      vous coupe la tête.
knowing that the upcoming US elections and different
priorities early in the new year of 2009 would keep it on    Mais, pour revenir à des choses plus sérieuses, il y a
life support for the next 12, 16, 18 or 24 months. But       quelques mois, sur fond de crise alimentaire, les
now, because of a global crisis, we have some global         négociations à l'OMC échouaient sur la question du
leaders. They are meeting very often, and although the       mécanisme de sauvegarde spécial, un instrument
meetings are urgent, they actually mention that there is a   essentiel pour les pays en développement souhaitant
chance that Doha could be concluded.                         protéger leur économie et leur population contre les
                                                             excès de la libéralisation.
Now the question. Do you believe there is a real chance
of a quick conclusion of the Doha Round, paradoxically       Depuis, une crise financière – ça a été évoqué – a
because of the credit crisis and economic turmoil? And,      également éclaté et l'on sait déjà que ses répercussions
if so, will you make it your priority to use this window     sur les pays pauvres seront dramatiques. Malgré cela, les
of opportunity and hopefully provide a much-needed           négociations commerciales entre l'Union européenne et
boost of confidence to the global economy? Because,          ses partenaires en développement continuent sur les
God knows, any bit of confidence is very much needed         mêmes bases. Ne serait-il pas temps de revoir les
right now.                                                   priorités, de privilégier la sécurité alimentaire et
                                                             l'agriculture vivrière, de mettre en accord les discours
                                                                                                                      19
pro-développement avec la réalité des négociations            the House of Lords. Two issues in particular: first and
commerciales trop axées, à mon goût, sur les intérêts des     foremost your role in legal services in India. In this
pays développés?                                              House I have been given the responsibility, for some
                                                              time, of dealing with the EU-India Free Trade
1-108
                                                              Agreement, and I really do think it would have been in
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  First of
                                                              the interests of the United Kingdom for us to have met
all, my head thanks you very much!
                                                              earlier; certainly our paths should have crossed much
                                                              sooner than today.
(Laughter)
                                                              The second issue I note is this: you mentioned that you
This is precisely why I need to go and talk to Pascal
                                                              have previously served as a human rights minister, and
Lamy, and to look at where we are in the negotiations. I
                                                              that human rights is something that is very important to
think there are different interpretations of how far the
                                                              you. Indeed, it is very important to this House.
negotiations, as they stood, would have supported
developing and developed nations.
                                                              In the United Kingdom under your government, we saw
                                                              legislation under which people could be detained
There are many people who would say that there was a
                                                              without charge, and in fact the highest court of the land
strong support system for those nations, and you are
                                                              had to step in and undo what your government had put in
right to point out that in times of economic turbulence,
                                                              place. I have tried to find what you did to speak out
the poorest nations could suffer the most – ‘could’. I
                                                              against those potential human rights abuses through that
need to go and look at that. I do not think it is time to
                                                              legislation but I have not been able to find a single word.
start trying to dig up the negotiations as they were. I
think it is time to look at how far we got, where the
                                                              In my constituency in the North-West of England some
stumbling blocks are and how far we can move things
                                                              220 000 people have lost their jobs this quarter alone,
forward. This is because, if we start to retreat, we will
                                                              and millions more in the EU face severe difficulties. Can
simply not get any kind of agreement, and that would be
                                                              you tell me, if you are given this role, what are the first
to the detriment of everyone.
                                                              five steps you will immediately take to help those
1-109                                                         people?
Kader Arif (PSE). – Monsieur le Président, Madame
                                                              1-112
Ashton, une deuxième question très rapide: le président
                                                              Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  It is very
Sarkozy avait défini comme priorité – vous avez évoqué
                                                              nice to meet you as well, Mr Karim, and I agree it would
les relations avec l'Est – sa relation avec le Sud au
                                                              have been very interesting to have talked with you about
travers de l'Union pour la Méditerranée. Il avait été
                                                              the legal services work that I was doing in India; perhaps
évoqué la question d'une zone de libre-échange sur
                                                              we will have another opportunity to do that.
laquelle j'avais rapporté pour 2010, et dont on pensait ici
très majoritairement que c'était impossible à faire.
                                                              I do think that we made significant progress in talking
Quelle est votre vision sur les négociations avec le Sud,
                                                              with the Indian Government, who were very open, but
et en particulier dans la zone euro-méditerranéenne?
                                                              we are very concerned about the potential impact on
1-110                                                         their courts, and about the fact that, of the one million
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I know             lawyers in India, I think 90% of them practise in a court
that President Sarkozy has been thinking more broadly         system and that is where they see their principal role,
about what I would have described, in my justice              and we are worried and concerned about the impact of
agenda, as a kind of Euromed approach, and there are          opening the market.
real, interesting issues about which countries would be
involved in that. I cannot tell you yet where I think we      On the issue of detention without charge, I think you are
might get to, but feel that these are important countries     referring to the House of Lords (Law Lords’) decision
with which we need to have serious dialogue. I do not         on Belmarsh. You will be aware that what then
yet know whether that will turn into something concrete,      happened was that we went back to Parliament with a
and, as I say, President Sarkozy certainly has a broader      proposal on control orders. There are differing views
perspective, not only on the number of countries but also     about the human rights implications of control orders,
on what he is hoping to achieve.                              and I as a human rights minister take a great interest in
                                                              that, but the most fundamental human right, I believe, is
1-111
                                                              the right to go about your life without fear that
Sajjad Karim (PPE-DE). – Colleagues, in the United
                                                              something could happen to you, and I started my work
Kingdom we have a saying, when somebody has
                                                              on human rights on that basis.
performed very well, that they have ‘raised the roof of
the house’. Thankfully there has been no detrimental
                                                              Again, I am sure we can talk in more detail about my
effect to the roof of this House so far.
                                                              role in the British Government on human rights, but I
                                                              stand by my record and I am very proud to have been the
(Laughter)
                                                              human rights minister.
Commissioner designate, it is delightful to have this
                                                              Concerning the five steps to support your constituents in
opportunity to finally meet with you. I note what you say
                                                              the North-West, the first is a recognition and
about various roles you have played in a previous life in
                                                              understanding of open trade as an important element in
20                                                                                                    20-10-2008

how they will survive. The second is about building          pu l'obtenir de la Commission européenne jusqu'à
small and medium-sized enterprise capacity. The third is     présent. On aimerait connaître votre point de vue sur ce
looking to how the European Union can support them           sujet.
directly, making sure they have access to support and
                                                             1-118
finance, looking at our market access strategy, making
                                                             Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I think it
sure they know about the website that is available, and
                                                             is very important that all the international agreements
how we can help them. It happens to be the North-West
                                                             that are currently in existence are respected, and
of England, though it could be any part of the European
                                                             certainly in terms of some of the labour questions, the
Union. And, finally, concluding the agreements we need
                                                             role of the ILO is central to this. We had an earlier
to conclude to enable them to trade with the rest of the
                                                             conversation about the role of the American Congress. I
world and develop their businesses.
                                                             think, again, it is quite important to be able to use the
1-113                                                        trade negotiations to make sure that we are not moving
Sajjad Karim (PPE-DE). – Baroness, you clearly value         into a world that takes countries backwards and enables
your relationship with this House. Will you accept the       them to exploit individuals and their workers.
decision of this committee – whatever it is – even if it
goes against you today?                                      My ambition would be that countries, because they
                                                             develop and grow, move forward in their attitude and
1-114
                                                             behaviours to support their workforce, to develop the
Der Vorsitzende.  Entschuldigung, die Zeit ist
                                                             kinds of strategies and support for workers that we have
abgelaufen. Es tut mir entsetzlich leid.
                                                             seen, again going back to my own experience in my
1-115                                                        country. Support for women, maternity pay, flexible
Sajjad Karim (PPE-DE). – It is a very sensitive              working and so on have all been elements that have
question, Chairman. It would be very unfair if Baroness      enabled us to develop a better workforce and to provide
Ashton was not given the opportunity to answer.              people with the right level of support. Those are all
                                                             aspects of how we move forward as we begin to develop
1-116
                                                             our relationship – again, working together.
Der Vorsitzende.  Ja, aber die Zeit ist abgelaufen. Es
ist unfair, wenn ein Abgeordneter eine längere Redezeit      1-119
bekommt als die anderen, wenn es eine Liste gibt, wo         Harlem Désir (PSE). – Monsieur le Président,
die Redezeiten festgelegt sind. Sie müssen das               Madame Ashton, il y a un domaine dans lequel la
verstehen, dass ich darauf auch strikt achten muss.          Commission a veillé au respect de ses accords, ce sont
                                                             les accords du GSP+ (système de préférences
1-117
                                                             généralisées renforcé), notamment vis-à-vis du Belarus,
Harlem Désir (PSE). – Monsieur le Président, Madame
                                                             pour lequel des violations répétées systématiques des
Ashton, je suis très heureux de vous entendre ce soir.
                                                             droits de l'homme avaient été établies par l'Organisation
En 2006, la Commission européenne a publié une
                                                             internationale du travail, par les services de la
première communication sur le travail décent et, ce qui
                                                             Commission, par les syndicats internationaux. Les
était original, c'est que cette communication était
                                                             préférences commerciales ont été levées.
présentée à la fois par le commissaire à l'emploi et aux
affaires sociales, M. Špidla, mais aussi conjointement
                                                             Je voudrais savoir si vous êtes prête à prendre des
par le commissaire au commerce. Et l'un des enjeux de
                                                             mesures du même type, c'est-à-dire à lever les
ce travail, c'était précisément de voir comment on peut
                                                             préférences accordées au terme du GSP+ vis-à-vis de
utiliser tous les leviers pour promouvoir le travail
                                                             pays d'Amérique centrale pour lesquels il y a le même
décent, en particulier pour donner une dimension sociale
                                                             type d'allégations, tout à fait prouvées, de violations
à la mondialisation et faire en sorte que le débat ne soit
                                                             répétées des droits de l'homme et notamment des droits
pas entre "ouvrir les échanges" ou "promouvoir la
                                                             des syndicalistes.
dimension sociale dans nos sociétés", mais entre "ouvrir
les échanges, y compris le commerce" et, en                  1-120
contrepartie, y compris pour donner des gages aux            Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  GSP+ is
travailleurs de nos propres pays, "s'assurer que cela        important as a lever, and some of the governance
bénéficie aux travailleurs des pays partenaires".            questions that are raised within our relationships are
                                                             very important.
Je voudrais donc savoir ce que vous êtes prête à faire
pour que des clauses sociales soient incluses dans les       I will not at this point commit to doing something about
accords négociés par l'Union européenne. Je pense en         which I know too little.
particulier aux accords qui relèvent de la communication
"Global Europe", aux accords bilatéraux négociés en ce       What I am clear about is that GSP+ works if we use it
moment avec la Corée, avec l'ANASE, avec l'Inde, mais        effectively, both in terms of how the original agreement
aussi aux accords déjà en cours de discussion avec le        is done but also as we reflect and review what has
MERCOSUR.                                                    actually happened and how we take that forward.
                                                             1-121
Le Congrès des États-Unis a obtenu de l'administration
                                                             Zbigniew Zaleski (PPE-DE). – Baroness, you have not
américaine d'aller beaucoup plus loin que nous n'avons
                                                             yet convinced me on the human rights clause in the trade
                                                                                                                       21
agreement. Maybe you will. But I noticed that, in your        that it was not his business. Would it have been your
little dual between yourself and the British knight, our      business?
colleague Farage, you promised that you can
                                                              1-126
compensate for your lack of experience with your ability
                                                              Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I am not
to negotiate. Let us hope so. And now comes the first
                                                              going to comment on what Mr Mandelson did because I
question of the three.
                                                              was not here and I do not know the details of the case.
Let us take Russia: big country, important partner, many      1-127
ports around, there are surface, transit routes from Asia     Zbigniew Zaleski (PPE-DE). – What would you do if
to Europe, they can trade arms, whatever. They can, by        Russia were to say: ‘no more meat from Poland into
surprise, block the meat of one of the Member States to       Russia’?
their countries. They are hesitating to become WTO
                                                              1-128
members; they may say – and they do say – ‘we do not
                                                              Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I think
need all those rules’; they can pay their own rule. What
                                                              that, if I fell into the trap of saying what I would have
is your vision, what is your understanding of Russia?
                                                              done in circumstances I know nothing about, I would be
How would you talk to them? To sweet, elegant
                                                              very foolish.
Medvedev or cool and rough Putin. How do you see that
in a longer perspective? This is the first question.          1-129
                                                              Zbigniew Zaleski (PPE-DE). – And the last question:
1-122
                                                              sometimes in talks with the LDCs, with ACP countries,
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I want to
                                                              there are sometimes, let us say, accusations that
see Russia in the WTO. I think it was in 1994 that the
                                                              neo-colonialism may appear from the European Union
conversation began about Russia coming in. I think it is
                                                              side. This is not addressed to you as a British citizen, but
very important they do, because I think without that
                                                              to anybody who represents the Commission. How would
framework it is very difficult to be able to develop the
                                                              you handle this point or this accusation?
kind of negotiations that might take us to an FTA in the
future. So my approach would be that that is my starting      1-130
point. That is where I would like to see Russia, and that     Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  Are you
is what I will be saying to them, what I hope we will be      suggesting that this is what people perceive to be the
able to achieve.                                              case?
1-123
                                                              I think we have to move from perception to reality and
Zbigniew Zaleski (PPE-DE). – Let us assume, as a
                                                              developing really good transparent negotiated
mental experiment, that ‘the train is running’: you have
                                                              agreements where all parties are absolutely clear about
been in office for, say, seven or eight months, and some
                                                              where we are and what we are trying to achieve is what
of the global players like China, via another country that
                                                              we want to see. If you look at some of the agreements
does not belong to the WTO, want to take advantage of
                                                              we have already got, they have been agreed by all parties
your being new. One day you hear the news that five or
                                                              and, therefore, I think, are to the benefit of all.
ten million pairs of stockings and sweaters have arrived
in European ports. What would you tell the media and          1-131
European citizens?                                            Ignasi Guardans Cambó (ALDE). – I have one simple
                                                              question, though it may not be that simple, and you may
1-124
                                                              be surprised that it is me putting this question. We have
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I am not
                                                              had several debates in this committee about the impact
sure I quite understood the question. Are you saying
                                                              of trade on women in particular, and we had a hearing
what would I do? Is this about dumping – is that what
                                                              on it; in fact we called for the Commission to introduce a
you are describing?
                                                              gender perspective into all international trade
                                                              agreements. That call has not been heeded very much,
Well I think I have tried to make clear my views on that.
                                                              and this whole issue of gender and trade still remains
There is a real question about looking, short term, about
                                                              mostly an academic issue rather than a real policy issue.
why countries wish to put products on the market. They
                                                              I would like to know from you at this moment, when
are looking for market share, and they are looking to try
                                                              you start this new responsibility, whether this is an issue
and position themselves, able to develop that market.
                                                              of concern for you, and, if it is, what you intend to do in
But we know the implications of that for our own
                                                              this respect?
industries, for our own commerce, for our own
companies, for our small and medium-sized enterprises.        1-132
So we have to consider it against the backdrop of the         Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  One of
rules that we have set out, and if we have set out the rule   the areas of work that I have been involved in was the
that says, in these particular circumstances, whichever       development of micro-financing, particularly in
country has breached those rules, we must act.                countries such as India, where the ability for the women
                                                              in the communities to develop their businesses made a
1-125
                                                              significant difference to the ability of that community to
Zbigniew Zaleski (PPE-DE). – Could you express your
                                                              survive.
judgement of your predecessor, Mr Mandelson, over the
meat case between Poland and Russia? I think that he
                                                              When you think about how trade works and the
did not act as he should. He defended himself by saying
                                                              opportunity it provides, and think more deeply about
22                                                                                                      20-10-2008

how you support economies to grow, you very quickly           hope that I will be able to make some contribution to
get to the issue of the role of women in those                how we develop those opportunities for them.
communities.
                                                              1-137
                                                              Cristiana Muscardini (UEN). – Signora Commissario,
Therefore, I hope that as we develop – whether it is
                                                              lei mercoledì, se va tutto bene, incontrerà Lamy e
EPAs, whether it is free trade agreements or whether it is
                                                              comincerà questo processo per sviluppare sempre di più
in the Doha Round – that the significance of supporting
                                                              regole nuove per l'OMC. Anche come relatore del
small businesses and women and the significance of
                                                              Parlamento che ha portato questo parere per una
women as entrepreneurs, as business leaders, is
                                                              modifica sostanziale e per velocizzare le pratiche, vorrei
recognised and all the things that go alongside would be
                                                              chiederle: è possibile che lei domani, Commissario,
fundamental to it.
                                                              abbia una particolare attenzione sui problemi per
                                                              esempio connessi al dumping che arriva da paesi quali la
That would be core to my agenda, but it would actually
                                                              Malesia e sui problemi dell'acciaio, industria europea in
be woven into my agenda and not a separate part of my
                                                              ginocchio in questo comparto - e ci sono delle violazioni
agenda.
                                                              molto gravi, ma fino a oggi la Commissione è stata un
1-133                                                         po' glissante sull'argomento - possiamo sperare in un suo
Ignasi Guardans Cambó (ALDE). – Finally, on a                 interessamento particolare?
completely different matter, you have been asked about
                                                              1-138
different parts of the world. I would like to fix the focus
                                                              Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I am very
for a moment on India and to link it with the current
                                                              happy to focus some attention on it, but you might prefer
situation of one very specific industry, which is the
                                                              me to wait till Wednesday to see whether I am actually
automobile industry. I would like to know how you mix
                                                              endorsed by Parliament. And certainly, again, as I have
both things – India and cars – as apparently India
                                                              indicated, the issues that are of particular concern to
pretends to leave that aside.
                                                              members of the committee are those which I want to
1-134                                                         look at as quickly as possible, and I hope that we will
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I think            continue that dialogue on what is clearly a very
we have to look at what is being proposed because, as I       important issue across the committee.
read it – and admittedly I am in the early days – we do
                                                              1-139
have not this covered properly in our discussions with
                                                              Der Vorsitzende.  Wir werden das natürlich
India and we need to come back to it.
                                                              aufgreifen, wenn Sie als Kommissarin ernannt worden
1-135                                                         sind. Wir werden Sie dann umgehend in den Ausschuss
Cristiana Muscardini (UEN). – Lady Ashton, ben                einladen, um solche Fragen weiter zu debattieren, wie
arrivata. Lei ha dimostrato nelle sue risposte scritte una    sie hier angesprochen wurden und die heute Abend noch
particolare attenzione al commercio internazionale e          nicht beantwortet werden konnten, weil Sie natürlich
perciò alla nostra commissione, lei ci insegna che il         auch noch mit anderen Partnern Gespräche führen.
commercio internazionale oggi è politica estera e ha
                                                              1-140
dimostrato una particolare attenzione anche per la
                                                              Frithjof Schmidt (Verts/ALE).              – Zwischen
piccola e media impresa, colonna portante dell'economia
                                                              Handelsinteressen und der Politik zur Verhinderung des
europea. Io chiedo, se lei sarà Commissario, se ci sarà la
                                                              Klimawandels gibt es ein Spannungsverhältnis. Der
volontà, all'interno della Commissione, di spingere sul
                                                              Handel trägt stark zum Klimawandel bei. Die
Consiglio, che ancora oggi rifiuta di affrontare in
                                                              Welthandelsorganisation WTO akzeptiert bisher nicht
maniera definita e chiara il problema della
                                                              die Gleichrangigkeit der Vereinbarungen im Rahmen der
denominazione di origine, il mercato è libero quando le
                                                              multilateralen     Umweltabkommen            und   der
regole sono chiare e condivise. Se abbiamo paesi come
                                                              Vereinbarungen innerhalb der WTO. Das ist ein
la Cina e gli Stati Uniti, per i quali è necessaria la
                                                              zentrales Problem der internationalen Politik.
denominazione di origine per entrare nei loro territori
con le merci, come mai l'Europa non è capace di
                                                              Halten Sie eine solche Gleichrangigkeit zwischen
tutelarsi?
                                                              Umweltabkommen und Abkommen innerhalb der WTO
1-136                                                         für sinnvoll und wären Sie bereit, Vorschläge für eine
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  Having a           entsprechende neutrale Streitbeilegungsinstanz zu
country of origin is an important question for consumers      machen, die in diesem Bereich dringend notwendig ist?
as well. It enables consumers, not least, to make the
                                                              1-141
kinds of choices that they wish to make. I am therefore
                                                              Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I think it
very interested in that.
                                                              is important that I begin to understand what you mean
                                                              by a ‘neutral approach’. What I am very clear about is
In more general terms, supporting our small businesses
                                                              that environmental issues are important, and they have a
means supporting our economies. There is no question;
                                                              relevance to trade in two different ways. One is the
most people work in small and medium-sized enterprises
                                                              contribution (or not) they make to tackling some of the
and yet, as we have already discussed, only 8% of these
                                                              issues around climate change, but also the opportunities
are exporting. There is therefore huge potential, and I
                                                                                                                  23
to trade in products and services that address                up some of the smoke? And if not, would you have
environmental issues effectively.                             any objections to the Committee on International Trade
                                                              asking the former Commissioner to appear before us to
That is something we all need to consider: the                clear up the perception of conflict of interest?
opportunities that could be created for the European
                                                              1-145
Union and beyond, to be able to do that where we know
                                                              Catherine Ashton, Commissioner designate.  My
we have got, in a variety of different economies across
                                                              predecessor is someone I have been privileged to know
the world, some really world-class products and services
                                                              for a quarter of a century and who is a man of great
that can address some of the questions on climate change
                                                              integrity and he has served this Commission and this
and the environment as well.
                                                              Parliament well. He has already taken great strides to
1-142                                                         deal with the remarks and stories that have appeared
Frithjof Schmidt (Verts/ALE). – Noch eine Nachfrage,          about him.
auch zur WTO. In der WTO ist bisher das
Vorsorgeprinzip – also das, was man precautionary             For my part, the role that I have played as leader of the
principle nennt – nicht verankert. Halten Sie es für          House of Lords and as a parliamentarian and a minister
sinnvoll, ein solches Vorsorgeprinzip innerhalb der           for eight years requires that I disclose any gifts that I
WTO-Statuten zu verankern, um beispielsweise                  receive. Indeed I am not allowed to keep gifts, as you
zukünftig     bei   Auseinandersetzungen       um    die      will probably know from the UK Parliament, of a value
Verwendung gentechnisch veränderter Organismen eine           of more than about EUR 130 to EUR 150. Therefore, I
andere rechtliche und politische Basis zu schaffen? Denn      have no difficulty in saying that I would want to be as
das war ja bisher auch bei den Auseinandersetzungen           open and transparent as possible with the committee and
zwischen der Europäischen Union und etwa den USA              to be able to come at any time and talk about what I have
das Problem, dass es ein solches Vorsorgeprinzip im           been doing.
Rahmen der WTO eben nicht gibt.
                                                              However, I too am a person of integrity and the fact that
1-143
                                                              I might have a conversation, a meal or attend a function
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  The
                                                              with someone else does not mean that I am therefore
questions around genetically modified organisms are
                                                              going in any way to move away from that integrity.
very complex, without doubt, and there are other
colleagues in the Commission who have been primarily          1-146
dealing with them. So I hesitate to tread into another        Syed Kamall (PPE-DE). – In that case, I would just like
area, but I am already mindful of their importance in that    you to clarify whether, if there is a perception of a
relationship – as you rightly say – between the way in        conflict of interest, you would let the smoke fill the
which the United States has been concerned about what         room or would seek to clear the smoke surrounding
we have done and the way in which we have been                particular stories or allegations of potential conflict of
concerned about GMOs. I think it is one that we need to       interests? Or would you say you are above that and
look at, but it really is without my portfolio to consider    would prefer not to answer any questions if there is a
the complex issues that arise from that.                      perception of a potential conflict of interest?
1-144                                                         1-147
Syed Kamall (PPE-DE). – You will be aware of stories          Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I think
surrounding your predecessor's links to specific              that if you have a perception, I would imagine that the
businessmen who, it is alleged, may have been                 committee or its members would beat a path to my door
beneficiaries of decisions taken by Mr Mandelson during       rather quickly to ask me about it. However, I also hope
his time as trade Commissioner.                               that the committee would begin from the principle that I
                                                              stand before you with integrity and that my actions
I am sure those of us who supported those decisions, as       reflect that, and that its members would not jump to any
well as those who may have been opposed to those              conclusions or assumptions about me or what I have
decisions, will all be keen to ensure that such a situation   been doing. But, of course, I also understand that, given
does not a rise again in the future.                          that some people will sometimes wish to say otherwise,
                                                              you need to be vigilant and careful about these issues,
Will you promise to declare all hospitality that you          and indeed I would be.
receive, or any links that you may have with potential
                                                              1-148
beneficiaries of decisions made by you as trade
                                                              Syed Kamall (PPE-DE). – In my last minute or so I
Commissioner, or of decisions made by DG Trade?
                                                              would like to ask you a question on something
                                                              completely different.
Also, could you clarify for us – and I realise that at the
moment you are probably still learning the ropes – the
                                                              You would have heard today many discussions on
rules for Commissioners on accepting gifts as well as
                                                              concerns about countries with low environmental
hospitality, and what you need to declare and what you
                                                              standards exporting their goods to the EU and us
do not declare?
                                                              allowing these imports in. I am sure that you will be
                                                              aware that over time there have been discussions on
Finally, would you as Commissioner be prepared to ask
                                                              so-called ‘green tariffs’ or ‘green import taxes’ or border
your predecessor to disclose all links he had with some
                                                              adjustment measures. What is your view on these tariffs?
of the businessmen in question, just to clarify and clear
24                                                                                                          20-10-2008

Would you support green import tariffs? Would you               not only the cultural and social and economic facets, but
support border adjustment measures?                             also regional integration, and their desire to operate in
                                                                that way. I start from the principle that those nations
1-149
                                                                have come together specifically because they think it is
Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I have not
                                                                in their best interests, and I would want to try and meet
reached a conclusive view on that yet, and the reason is
                                                                that by being equally open to trying to get an agreement
because these are bigger questions that span a whole
                                                                with those countries, as far as possible, together. I accept
range of our discussions, both within the Commission
                                                                that that might not be possible, and it may be that one
and the role of other Commissioners, but also in thinking
                                                                has to go for a sort of two-speed approach, where we do
through the broader questions that will ultimately be
                                                                start to negotiate and discuss in greater detail with some
addressed, to some degree, by what happens in
                                                                of the countries which are more ready, but with an
Copenhagen next year and the move by a large number
                                                                ambition of being able to work with the countries as a
of Member States and others to try and address them.
                                                                whole.
So, if you will forgive me, I need to reflect on that more      1-152
fully and also to be mindful of those discussions, which        Glyn Ford (PSE). – As a follow-up, let me say that
will be very important for the future.                          ASEAN is a problem because of its enormous diversity,
                                                                and the fact that one of its members is a complete pariah
1-150
                                                                – Myanmar. Therefore, we are not going to enter an
Glyn Ford (PSE). – It has been quite a tiring evening
                                                                agreement with the ten and, if you are, Parliament would
for us all and I think I am the last of the formal
                                                                be very unhappy. Instead, should we not be having some
questioners. Congratulations on your performance so far
                                                                serious discussions with, if you like, China – the world’s
at least.
                                                                largest country? That country is not fit or ready for a free
                                                                trade agreement, and I am not suggesting that. However,
I want to raise the issue of the free trade agreement
                                                                spending some time talking to China about a partnership
negotiations we opened with India, ASEAN and the
                                                                agreement might be sensible.
Republic of Korea. We all supported those and we
agreed with the previous Commissioner on opening
                                                                Secondly, I am the first person this evening to mention
those negotiations, but to date the results have been a
                                                                Japan, which is the world’s second-largest economy.
rather mixed bag.
                                                                When are we going to pay some attention to it, as the
                                                                world’s second-largest economy? Again, a free trade
We are on the verge of getting an agreement with the
                                                                agreement is probably not appropriate, as the Japanese
Republic of Korea. If we trade off some progress on the
                                                                are interested in an economic integration agreement.
rules of origin for automobiles – which serves a purpose
                                                                However, would you be willing at least to look at the
that we are all in favour of, namely bringing North
                                                                possibility of doing something with the world’s largest
Korea into the world’s economic zone – from the special
                                                                country and the world’s second-largest economy?
economic area in Kaesong, I think we can probably sign
something before the end of the year.                           1-153
                                                                Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  On the
With regard to ASEAN, it has been demonstrated that             last two countries you raised, the answer is yes and yes.
there is no credible negotiating machinery for the ten – I      In terms of the nine, not the ten, I agree with you about
am the rapporteur – so is it not better to perhaps look at      Myanmar, completely. I hope one day, though, it will
four instead of ten?                                            able to be included, because it is no longer, as you
                                                                described it, the pariah. I do agree that we do not fail to
Regarding India, as the current Government – as is its          start negotiations with countries who are ready to do so.
perfect right – is frankly not interested in FTA, should        And I agree with you, too, that the nine are extremely
we not just suspend negotiations, because where we are          diverse in terms of where they are. But I am still mindful
at the moment we are wasting our time?                          that they wanted to work together, and we should not
                                                                lose sight of that in how we approach it. Therefore,
1-151
                                                                trying to make sure that we recognise that is very
Catherine Ashton, Commissioner designate.  Starting
                                                                important.
with India, there is of course the issue of forthcoming
elections there. I am not sure, at this point, that I want to   1-154
say let us suspend anything. I think we need to keep the        Der Vorsitzende.  Frau designierte Kommissarin, ich
dialogue and discussions going forward. My experience           würde Ihnen gerne noch einmal zu abschließenden
of working with the Indian ministers, based on my               Bemerkungen an die hier anwesenden Mitglieder des
previous work on trade, has been extremely positive, so I       Ausschusses    für   internationalen    Handel,  des
would want to investigate that very fully before taking         Ausschusses für Entwicklung und des Ausschusses für
what I consider to be quite a drastic move to suspend.          auswärtige Angelegenheiten das Wort erteilen.
                                                                1-155
In terms of ASEAN, I looked at the constitution of
                                                                Baroness Ashton, Commissioner designate.  I will be
ASEAN – in other words the agreement those countries
                                                                brief. First of all, it has been as interesting and
reached and the reasons for their coming together – and
                                                                challenging as I thought it might be when I arrived here
found very interesting the way in which they approached
                                                                this morning. I am extremely grateful to everyone who
                                                               25
has not only raised important issues but made me reflect
and think very carefully about the questions.

I begin with my commitment to this Parliament and to
the committee or committees that are represented here
today, and reiterate that I plan to be as open to you and
as responsive to you as I can. But I do so in large part
because I know the expertise and experience that exists
in this committee. For those of you whom I have not met
before, any residual concern I might have had about
whether there was a lack of experience and knowledge
has disappeared. It is quite clear to me that I should use
my best endeavours to talk with you as much as
possible. I hope that you will find me, if you do endorse
me, receptive to you.

The second thing I would say is that we have looked
across the world and considered in some detail some of
the many issues and concerns that you would wish me to
take away. Whether they are issues of environment, or of
dumping, or of the way in which we develop our trading
relationships, I am very mindful of the concerns that you
have raised and will do my best endeavours to take them
forward.

I am also very aware that in so doing, I do so with an
economic and financial backdrop that practically
everybody who has spoken has raised with me. That
must determine the approach that we take.

The final thing I would say is that I am still very clear at
the end of my time with you that to begin to look at the
potential of Doha again is very important. In everything
that we do – and this really is my final point – I need to
be mindful of making sure that we have the relationships
right and certainly the concerns raised this evening and
before I got here this evening about how we develop our
Economic Partnership Agreements must form a core part
of my work.

Thank you again. Thank you to the interpreters who
have worked so tirelessly this evening as well. I look
forward to your deliberations and remain at your service.

(Applause)
1-156
(Die Anhörung wird um 20.45 Uhr geschlossen.)

								
To top