Euro-MP Cohn-Bendit calls for rights rating agency

15th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Europe needs a rights and democracy ratings agency to guide its trade ties, firebrand European parliament Greens leader Dany Cohn-Bendit said Tuesday.

Under such a system, the European Union could tie trade deals with countries with a "AAA" rating while refusing to sell arms to those with only an "A", he said.

A ratings system would prevent the EU from what he termed as its mistakes in ties with the Tunisian regime of former leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali or Egypt's deposed Hosni Mubarak.

"Every time we deal with dictatorships such as China, Egypt or Tunisia, we wave aside the people," he said at a media conference.

"We need a ratings agency for democracies".

But Joseph Daul, head of the parliament's biggest political group, the Conservatives, shrugged off the suggestion as a "gimmick".

© 2011 AFP

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