Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-281"

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". Fair Trade has made enormous progress in getting labelled products onto supermarket shelves and into mainstream buying habits and practices. The same cannot yet be claimed for crafts and garments. The Commission will consider, as part of the follow-up to Parliament’s report, whether there is scope for action in this area. When I said in Parliament in July that ‘what is required to tackle poverty and to enhance development is a fair and coherent policy framework’, this was not limited to Fair Trade – though I acknowledged the helpful role that the report on Fair Trade and development would play. So whilst the Commission is considering how to capitalise further on the role of the Fair Trade movement, there are a number of other wider actions that it can undertake. In cooperation with developing countries, we can promote decent work and international labour standards, as well as the interaction between decent work and other policies. The new thematic programme on investing in people, which comprises awareness-raising, training, information-sharing and the development of a set of indicators to monitor progress, will be an important tool. The close link between decent work and poverty reduction is increasingly well understood in the EU. In the ‘European Consensus on Development’ – a document published in 2005 – employment and social cohesion are recognised as one of the nine areas of Community action. Employment, decent work and social cohesion are also central in the EU-Africa strategy. In May 2006, the Commission adopted a communication on decent work for all, which will be presented at the Commission Conference on Decent Work and Globalisation in December, where the issues will be tackled in a comprehensive framework. We are also contributing to the adoption of international norms and standards for all products, including textiles, through ongoing trade-related activities at bilateral and regional level. One example is a quality support programme in Bangladesh, which focuses on the improvement of the quality standards, metrology and accreditation systems in the country to help national laboratories ensure regional and multilateral recognition and acceptability of the conformity assessment certificates. The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute will also be strengthened in its basic capacity as a standards-setting body and in the area of metrology. The programme will help to enable Bangladesh to address multilateral requirements, as well as to increase the competitiveness of its export industry. The project aims to create public-private partnerships and promote in particular awareness of quality and environmental managements systems and social standards – ISO 14000 and SA 8000 certified companies have increased in number – as well as strengthening the Consumer Association, through which pressure for change and control will be built up."@en1

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