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MEPs quiz EU's next trade czar 'in waiting'

brussels bureau

MEPs quiz EU's next trade czar 'in waiting'


The Swedish politician who wants to spearhead EU trade policy over the next five years says there’ll be no negotiation with Russia over a free trade deal between the bloc and Ukraine.

Cecilia Malstroem was speaking at a confirmation hearing at the European Parliament after being picked to be the new EU trade commissioner.

“It is not the intention of the European union to let Russia amend this agreement. it can only be amended if one of the partners does it, and the two partners are Ukraine and Europe,” she told lawmakers.

Meanwhile many left-wing MEPs are worried about a possible transatlantic trade deal with the United States.

They fear it could weaken consumer protection in Europe and hand greater influence to large corporations.

“What I was disappointed with, I wouldn’t accuse her being tone-deaf to the public, but i didn’t think in her reply she reflected the concerns being expressed outside this house, in relation to many aspect of our trade agenda,” said David Martin, a British centre-left MEP and member of the Scottish Labour party.

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brussels bureau