“Europe, China and workers’ rights”

GRANDSTAND. The European Union must step up its game in its trade with China. And thus assert itself as a real power.

By Bernard Carayon*

The European Union would benefit from asserting itself more vis-à-vis China in its trade relations.

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L’The European Union has measured its absence and its naivety during the financial and health crises that have paralyzed it, as well as the energy and diplomatic conflicts that have caused it.

Every time, to respond to the emergency, it has to violate its texts, its dogmas, its reflexes: bank rescue plans prepared by the States themselves, while direct, public and national aid to those business is prohibited by the agreement; joint ordering of vaccines and financing of arms purchases from Ukraine, without legal skills. Let’s move to the grand bazaar where it’s all improvised.

READ ALSOWhen China wakes upThe European Union is built on liberal principles built on theology, in which it believes, but alone: ​​opening markets without the need for reciprocity; limitation of deficits, condemnation of any industrial policy by sector, taboos on the notion of “national champion” as “economic patriotism”, regardless of what its competitors are doing, as well as our security and environmental requirements; ignorance, in the very idea, of the tragedy of our economic dependencies in strategic sectors. It makes the Europeans pay for its neglect of inflation and the expensive race for energy suppliers that do not respect its principles, then, moreover, lost to competing interests.

Uneven weapons

Lacking clarity and intellectual freedom, it is time for it to gain courage in commercial engagement with China.

The “factory of the world”, for example, has not ratified the two conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO) on freedom of association and the protection of the right to organize, the right to organize and collective bargaining. However, the ILO places them at the top of the “fundamental conventions”. So it was impossible, under the communist regime, to create real unions, while Chinese companies had unlimited access to European public markets.

According to the Brussels vulgate: where the ” level playing field (level playing field)? It is good to champion the rights of European workers, it is better not to subject them to competition without rights! Let us observe, in passing, the shared silence of European liberals as well as of the French “revolutionary” parties and unions, which survive thanks to other reasons… It is clearly legitimate for the European Union to reserve, at least, our public contracts with countries that have adopted “fundamental conventions”, especially since these policies are not only derived from European principles, but from standards adopted by the UN, including the ILO, which combine- including 187 States.

Face a power

The World Trade Organization (WTO), itself, indicates that “there is a lot of legal advice that its own agreements and the labor standards of the ILO cannot be considered separately, since countries must respect all of their international obligations.

Skeptics will argue that Germany will oppose this initiative: in the name of what? Volkswagen and Siemens interests? Others would think that China would ratify them without enforcing it. This was the calculation of the Soviet hierarchs when they signed the Helsinki accords, quickly invoked by their historical victims, with certain success…

READ ALSOAlice Ekman: “The Chinese Regime Feels Threatened” Will Europe be too liberal to face what it is not, namely a power? But reciprocity is the twin of courtesy and equal rights in international trade!

So, chick?

*Bernard Carayon is former deputy (LR) for Tarn, mayor of Lavaur, and lawyer at the Paris bar.

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