State of play of the Doha development agenda
Delivered in Plenary - 21 November 2013
Although the 12 years of the Doha trade talks have been marked by the repeated collapse of negotiations and allegations of bad faith, the Development Agenda is still the best current hope we have in promoting multilateral free and fair trade across the world and in reducing the many non-tariff barriers placed in its path.
We in the EU, the world’s most successful trading bloc, know how the abolition of tariffs and quotas can increase prosperity for all, but we also know that this cannot be achieved without extremely careful deliberation and clearly targeted reforms, which take into account the needs of all countries, and not simply the richest. For these reasons I fully endorse the necessity of integrating the principle of special and differential treatment throughout the process and increasing its precision and efficiency, and reiterating support for the Everything But Arms initiative. It is in the interests of all of us here today that we work harder to reform the structures of the WTO and our engagement with it within the European Union, to make this all a reality to bring prosperity to all.