Minister Hartarto, EU officials discuss EUDR continuation

Jakarta, The Indonesia Post – Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto continued his visit to Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday, to meet key European Union (EU) officials to discuss the continuation of the EU Deforestation-Free Regulation (EUDR).

The activities incorporated in the joint mission were led by Minister Hartarto and Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Plantations and Commodities of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Haji Fadillah Bin Haji Yusof.

Hartarto met with several European Union officials, including the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell-Fontelles, and Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevicius.

He also met with Executive Vice President – European Green Deal and Commissioner for Climate Action Policy, Frans Timmermans; Vice President of the European Parliament, MEP Heidi Hautala; and chair of the International Trade/INTA Committee, MEP Bernd Lange.

During the meeting, Indonesia and Malaysia discussed various issues with key European Union officials.

The main topic of discussion was the implementation or impact of the EUDR on palm oil market access to the European Union.

Earlier, Minister Hartarto conveyed his serious rejection of EUDR during a meeting with representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs).

“EUDR implementation will clearly hurt and harm plantation and forestry commodities that are so important to us, such as cocoa, coffee, rubber, wood products, and palm oil,” he said in Brussels, according to an official statement received here on Wednesday.

The EUDR policy would undermine all of Indonesia’s efforts, which has committed to resolving issues related to climate change and protecting biodiversity, in accordance with multilateral agreements and conventions, such as the Paris Agreement, he added.

Besides the EUDR, Hartarto also discussed the application of country benchmarking, which assigns the labels high risk, standard, and low risk to certain countries that are considered to have damaged their image.

The meeting also discussed Geolocation Data, which is considered to be burdensome for smallholders and related to data security issues.

Another issue discussed was the recognition of national/international standards for the palm oil sector, such as the RSPO, ISPO, and MSPO, as a mitigation measure from the EUDR.

EUDR’s compatibility with the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) provisions as well as Indonesia and Malaysia’s commitment to protecting workers’ rights in accordance with ILO Conventions were also discussed at the meeting. (mhn/bbs)


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