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Renewed call by European local and regional authorities for more Fair Trade

In the own-initiative opinion “local and regional support for Fair Trade in Europe”, its author Barbara Duden, Vice-President of the Free and Hanseatic Parliament of the City of Hamburg, expresses the need for a fully-fledged European Union (EU) Fair Trade Strategy that mainstreams this concept across various EU policy areas: trade, development and sustainable consumption and production.
Local and regional authorities play a relevant role in promoting Fair Trade: by setting the example with their own consumption and by raising awareness among citizens. They can furthermore encourage the supply of Fair Trade products by economic actors in their territory. To date there are more than 1.500 communities in Europe that have been awarded Fair Trade town status.

The European Commission is the best placed to mainstream Fair Trade, and should use the upcoming new EU Trade Strategy to do so” stated Sergi Corbalán, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office.

Committee of the Regions (CoR) rapporteur Barbara Duden sees the European Year for Development as an opportunity to put the topic on the EU agenda and make it a key component of both the EU's post-2015 development policy and the EU's future trade policy.

One of the landmark initiatives that should be put forward is the setup of a European Fair Trade Capital Award. It would not only reward the various modalities of Fair Trade support by cities in Europe, but also help to disseminate the good examples to encourage other cities to take action in this area. In addition, this EU-wide recognition would be an incentive for them to go further in their commitments, besides giving visibility to the topic among citizens.


Barbara Duden with copyright

 

 

 

 

“In my country many of the good practices from the regional and local level are encouraged by the award of the German capital of Fair Trade, this should also be replicated at EU level with a similar scheme” declared Barbara Duden during her speech at the plenary session.

 

 

 

 

 

In support of the opinion, the CoR has published a study on the promotion of Fair Trade by regions and cities of the EU. The study contains various local and regional approaches to Fair Trade, an evaluation of potential obstacles and a selection of best practice examples.

Read the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) press release here.

The Committee of the Regions press release is available here.

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