Thursday

17th Aug 2017

MEPs to hear all WTO Candidates, despite backing Lamy

The European Parliament's Trade Committee on Tuesday (15 MArch) held a hearing with the candidate for the WTO's top job Carlos Pérez del Castillo.

The Uruguayan veteran negotiator, claimed to be the candidate the organisation needs.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"I sincerely believe I am the consensus character the WTO needs", said Mr Castillo, stressing that only he has "a track record of impartiality".

Yet, the EU, who is the main commercial partner of the WTO, representing 42% of global trade, is backing its own candidate, former EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy. Mr Castillo, a Socialist, is from the same political family as Mr Lamy.

Four candidates have emerged in the race for the presidency of the international trade organization since 31 December 2004.

The Trade Commission has invited them all for public hearings in the European Parliament.

The Uruguayan candidate urged the EU to "harness all efforts" to ensure a successful conclusion to Doha round - opened in 2001 - in Hong Kong this year, but warned that expectations should be lowered.

"I wouldn't call it a development round", he said.

\"Honest Broker\"

Mr Castillo, a WTO veteran, who chaired most of its top bodies, including the General Council, is a firm supporter of multilateralism, which he believes to be the only alternative for developing nations. "Rules and discipline protect the poorest countries from unilateralism and discrimination", he said.

"I have always been a consensus builder, trying to find solutions with imagination", said Mr Castillo. "That's what it takes to get results (...) we need a Director General who can be an honest broker", he added.

If victorious, Mr Castillo said he would not carry out thorough reforms in the organization, which Mr Lamy criticized as being "medieval". "There are things the WTO can do and there are things the WTO cannot do and should not do", he stated, advocating instead for more work to be carried out in the Geneva headquarters instead of high-profile ministerial summits.

Drawing attention to the "need to improve the WTO's image before the public view in general", he assured that, if victorious, his door "will always be open" to NGOs.

Questioned about the fact that another Latin American candidate is in the race - the Brazilian Luis Felipe de Seixas Correa - Mr. Castillo said only himself has the support of the "overall majority" of Latin American states. He has previously boasted to have the solid support of the "agricultural countries" as well.

Mr Castillo showed concern that the race for the WTO's top job would cause disruption within the ranks, as in the current presidency which had to be split between Thai Supachai Panichpakdi, and New Zealander Mike Moore in an "unprecedented term sharing arrangement".

A decision will be taken by the WTO General Council on the 31 May 2005 at the latest.

Mauritius Islands' Jaya Krishna Cuttaree is the fourth contestant, who claims to have the support of the ACP countries.

Airbnb too 'different' to pay EU tax

US home rental firm said its “model is unique” because most of the money stays in pockets of local people, as France and Germany prepare EU tax crackdown.

Greece looking at bond market return

Greece could issue 3-year bonds as early as this week, for the first time in three years, amid mixed signs from its creditors and rating agencies.

Greece to get €7.7bn loan next week

The ESM, the eurozone emergency fund, agreed on Friday to unblock a new tranche of aid as part of the bailout programme agreed upon in 2015.

EU cautious with German diesel plan

The European Commission welcomed the German carmakers' pledge to update software in diesel cars, but is waiting for details on how emissions will be reduced.

News in Brief

  1. Russian power most feared in Europe
  2. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  3. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns
  4. Danish police to investigate misuse of EU fishing rules
  5. German constitutional court questions ECB's €2tn spending
  6. Low support for Norway's labour party ahead of elections
  7. Slovakia's future is with core EU, says PM
  8. Italy relieved as migration drops to lowest level since 2014

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  2. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  3. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  4. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  5. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  6. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  7. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  8. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  9. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  10. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides
  11. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  12. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey