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en/eu-to-launch-withdrawal-process-of-trade-preferences-in-cambodia-over-rights-concerns-warns-myanmar-of-potential-similar-action#c183552

Cambodia: EU officially starts the process of temporary suspension of trade preferences; EU needs to see real action during the process

Author: European Commission, Published on: 12 February 2019

"Cambodia: EU launches procedure to temporarily suspend trade preferences", 11 February 2019

The EU has … started the process that could lead to the temporary suspension of Cambodia's preferential access to the EU market under the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade scheme. EBA preferences can be removed if beneficiary countries fail to respect core human rights and labour rights…

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Vice President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini said: "…, we have seen the deterioration of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law in Cambodia... In recent months, the Cambodian authorities have taken a number of positive steps, including the release of political figures, civil society activists and journalists and addressing some of the restrictions on civil society and trade union activities..."

EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: "It should be clear that today's move is neither a final decision nor the end of the process. But the clock is now officially ticking and we need to see real action soon... Our engagement with the situation in Cambodia has led us to conclude that there are severe deficiencies when it comes to human rights and labour rights in Cambodia that the government needs to tackle if it wants to keep its country's privileged access to our market." 

Following a period of enhanced engagement,…, the Commission has concluded that there is evidence of serious and systematic violations of core human rights and labour rights in Cambodia,... as well as of the freedoms of assembly, expression and association...

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