Europe has the leading role in the fight against torture and the abolition of the death penalty, but there are still loopholes in our legislation that need to be closed. In October 2016, Members of the European Parliament gave their green light to an update of the Anti-Torture Regulation and agreed on stricter EU rules on the trade of goods or substances that may be used for torture and capital punishment in other countries around the globe.
Thanks to the effort of ALDE’s Rapporteur Marietje Schaake, this legislation was a huge step to advance EU’s efforts to eradicate torture and death penalty worldwide. Our MEPs managed to strengthen rules to prevent trade in products and supply of services that may contribute to torture, capital punishment or other inhuman or degrading treatment in third countries. ALDE managed to widen the application of the EU rules to also ban marketing and transit of the prohibited goods.
ALDE fought to make this legislation more flexible and stronger. We wanted to make sure that the EU can react quickly to changes in the world and to the development of new technologies. This proposal broadened the number of controlled products, to include medicines that are used in the United States to carry out the death penalty.
MEP Marietje Schaake said: “The eradication of the death penalty and torture is an important goal of European trade and foreign policy. The EU condemns the death penalty and torture everywhere. Therefore it is crucial that we have strong and credible policy to make sure that Europe does not contribute to these practices.”
“With these new updated rules we broaden the scope of the regulation, making sure we include more of the worldwide trade in these products and ensure that Europeans are not involved. In the future, we will need to see whether European citizens selling these products outside the EU should also be covered in the regulation. The EU is the biggest trading bloc in the world, so our export control laws have effect on worldwide trade flows. In this way we can strengthen our values through trade policy.”
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