Urgency Resolution on the situation in the Philippines in the European Parliament

Since late 2014, the Philippines is a beneficiary of the EU trade preferences given under the GSP+ scheme which are tied to the compliance with 27 international treaties, including 7 human rights conventions. On September 16, 2020, the European Parliament adopted an Urgency Resolution with the title Joint Motion for a resolution on the situation in the Philippines, including the case of Maria Ressa. The Urgency Resolution contained strong wording, calling on the European Union “given the seriousness of the human rights violations” to “initiate the procedure which could lead to the contemporary withdrawal of GSP+ preferences in the absence of any substantial improvement and willingness to cooperate on the part of the Philippines authorities”. Despite an ongoing deterioration of the human rights situation and the call of a number of Filipino and international NGOs to start the suspension mechanism, the EU-Commission so far has not indicated plans to do so. The resolution also expressed concerns regarding the state of Press Freedom and the ongoing detention of Senator Leila de Lima

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