118 Members of the new European Parliament support Fair Trade

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The Vote for Fair Trade campaign (Vote4FT) has brought Fair Trade organisations from around Europe to advocate together for Fair Trade to be included in the policy agenda of the European Union, asking candidates running for the European Parliament (EP)´s elections to sign the Fair Trade Manifesto, committing to five main demands.

Out of the over 500 supportive candidates, that the 28 Fair Trade organisations in the Vote4FT coalition have gathered in 19 countries across Europe, 118 have been elected to serve as Members of European Parliament (MEPs) in the 2014-2019 term. The highest number of elected MEPs who have endorsed the Fair Trade manifesto are found in Germany (19), France (16) and Italy (13), followed by high results in countries such as Belgium, Finland and the Czech Republic. The countries with the highest percentage of Fair Trade Manifesto signers in their EP delegations and hence the ‘fairest vote’ are Finland (69%), Luxembourg (66%) and Sweden (52%).

The European political groups with the highest number of elected MEPs supporting the Manifesto are: the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D, 37), the Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA, 28). Then come the Group of the European People’s Party (EPP, 10), followed by the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL, 9), the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE, 9). Ten newly elected MEPs have not yet declared their affiliation to a political group.

For more details about the elected candidates, have a look at the Vote4FT interactive map.

Sincere thanks are given to all the campaigners who took action and to all the candidates who pledged to the Fair Trade Manifesto.

The Fair Trade movement would like to congratulate the elected candidates and is looking forwardto working with them to make sure that the commitments made during the elections are transformed into actual policy changes. The five commitments are:

1. Promote a people-centred economy and people-centred businesses where people come first and economic activities support sustainable livelihoods for all.

2. Back a strong European framework to address abuses of buyer power in our supply chains, a market failure that often results in the violation of human rights of marginalised producers and workers.

3. Encourage market-based incentives to facilitate producers having the possibility to trade under Fair Trade conditions and the development of Fair Trade markets both in Europe and the South, in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Framework post-2015.

4. Support an “Alternative Trade Mandate” to ensure that EU trade policy serves as a tool to increase economic, social and environmental well-being globally. In order to serve the general interest, trade policy should be subject to democratic and transparent debate, rather than being driven by powerful business lobbies pushing behind doors their specific short-term interests.

5. Become a champion for a European strategy for Fair Trade to promote best practices and coordinate local, regional, national and EU-level activities in support of Fair Trade, as already asked for unanimously by the Committee of the Regions.

For more information on the Vote4FT campaign, click here.