The EU will increase the control of the importation of bananas
Posted On 15 Dec 2016
“If this debate had taken place a few hours ago, my words would be quite different. I would say that in commercial agreements the bill is always paid by the agricultural sector, something I firmly believe.
And I would also tell you that the banana had been abandoned and that it only mattered the achievement of an agreement with Ecuador and not the safeguard clause or the banana stabilization mechanism.” This is how the Spanish MEP Gabriel Mato began his speech on Tuesday to the European Parliament during the debate on Ecuador’s accession to the EU’s trade agreement with Colombia and Peru.
He was worried, like so many other MEPs, about the impact the agreement could have on European banana producers – who live on public subsidies – such as the Canary Islands, given the partial liberalization of Ecuadorian bananas upon their arrival in Europe.
But fortunately for them, and partly also for Ecuador, the three community institutions – Council, Commission, and Parliament – held an informal tri-dialogue before the plenary session and reached a political agreement to tighten control on banana imports from the Andean region and Central America and thus protect their farmers.
The pact is in a process and will take the form of an amendment to the bilateral safeguard clause and stabilization mechanism that already governs the agreement with Peru and Colombia, and will do the same with Ecuador from January 2017.