Threats by Cambodian Prime Minister

Written Question

In October 2018, Commissioner Malmstrom notified the Cambodian government the trade preferences it enjoys under the ‘Everything but Arms’ (EBA) scheme would be withdrawn if no clear and measurable improvements would be made in the next six months.  

Yesterday, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen threatened further measures against the opposition in his country if the EU continued the procedure for withdrawing Cambodia’s EBA trade preferences.  

The President of Cambodia’s National Rescue Party (CNRP) was arrested in September 2017 and the CNRP itself was resolved by the Supreme Court in November 2017.  

1. Is the HR/VP aware of the threats issued by PM Hun Sen yesterday and if so, will she on behalf of all EU member states issue a demarche against such confrontational rhetoric and a direct threat against both the EU and the CNRP?

2. What additional measures, including diplomatic and financial support will the EEAS and EU delegation in Pnom Penh undertake to further strengthen and protect the CNRP and to counter the shrinking space for democracy in Cambodia?

3. Is the HR/VP in contact with Commissioner Malmstrom to align EU trade and foreign policies when it comes to Cambodia and to ensure there is consensus amongst the EU member states regarding the withdrawing of trade preferences from Cambodia, as called for in numerous European Parliamentary resolutions?