US News The European Union wants a reform of the WTO and green its trade policy
Okonjo-Iweala wants to bring a breath of fresh air into the WTO
Wherever the renowned development economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (66) appears, she cuts an impressive figure. © Martial Trezzini / KEYSTONE / dpa Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: "If we didn't have the WTO, we would have to invent it." The Nigerian woman has kept her style among suit and costume wearers despite decades in the USA: She wears very brightly colored dresses, with large patterns, almost always with a boldly tied headscarf.
The European Commission has defined its new trade policy to “fully support ecological and digital transformations”. She also calls for reform of the World Trade Organization.
Thewill place the fight against global warming at the heart of its foreign trade and will push with all its weight in favor of a reform of the World Trade Organization, according to the new European trade strategy unveiled Thursday by Brussels.
Faced with the "challenges" of the post-pandemic, "trade policy must fully support the ecological and digital transformations of our economy" , said Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission.
Australia: Parliament approves media reform
AUSTRALIA-MEDIA: Australia: Parliament approves media reform © Reuters / Dado Ruvic AUSTRALIA: PARLIAMENT APPROVES MEDIA REFORM by Colin Packham and Swati Pandey CANBERRA (Reuters) - The Australian Parliament on Thursday approved a bill requiring internet giants like Google and Facebook to pay newspaper companies to distribute news content on their platform, a reform that should inspire the UK. United and Canada.
The EU executive, which drives the trade policy of the Twenty-Seven, also wants to "take the lead in global reform efforts" of the WTO, he told a press conference.Compliance with the Paris agreement
In this strategy intended to steer European trade over the next decade, the Commission proposes that future trade agreements be conditional on compliance with the 2015 Paris agreement on the climate - a requirement lacking in previous agreements signed by the EU.
Environmental and climate issues are already at the heart of the reluctance of several European states regarding the ratification of the free trade agreement between Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and the EU, in the face of fears of massive deforestation in the Amazon.
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“Somewhere, somehow, sometime” - that's how Annalena Baerbock calls the corona policy of the federal government. The Greens do not save on criticism on their political Ash Wednesday. © dpa The Green Party leaders Annalena Baerbock (left) and Robert Habeck: Because of the corona crisis, the traditional exchange of blows will take place digitally this year.
Brussels also intends to assert its independence from the commercial superpowers of the United States and China, by deploying active multilateralism, in particular towards India and African countries."The opportunity to make a new start"
In the eyes of the EU, the rebalancing of world trade requires a profound revision of the WTO (164 members), paralyzed by the disengagement of the United States, Washington accusing the China of abusive practices and deeming the rules of the organization insufficient to remedy them.
The recent appointment of Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who will take over as head of the WTO on March 1, "represents an opportunity to make a fresh start" , believes the Commission.
Likewise, the Europeans expect deeper cooperation with the Biden administration after four years of rocky relations due to the protectionist policies of former President Donald Trump.Against forced labor
The EU also assured Thursday that it would put in place mechanisms to ensure in its trade agreements that companies do not use forced labor - a particularly sensitive subject after the signing by Brussels in December of 'a controversial investment deal with China.
The ratification of this agreement promises to be difficult, the European Parliament showing itself fiercely hostile to it because of the human rights abuses attributed to Beijing and the situation of the Uyghur Muslim minority, victim according to NGOs and Western States , a policy of mass internment and forced labor.
Covid-19. The countries of the European Union exceed the 500,000 death mark .
© NACHO DOCE / REUTERS A covid intensive care unit, in Barcelona, in January 2021. The symbolic threshold of 500,000 deaths was crossed on Tuesday evening February 9 in the European Union. While the contamination figures are still very high in several European countries, the trend seems to be improving in recent days.