Member of European Parliament stresses liberal and open democracy to combat terrorism

A visiting Member of European Parliament, Arne Lietz, has stressed “liberal and open democracy” to combat terrorism which he said became a “global issue”.

Published : 27 March 2017, 03:08 PM
Updated : 27 March 2017, 06:48 PM

“Terrorism threats are throughout the EU….yes, it's a global issue,” he said, “but what I think it's very important we take into terms there have to liberal and open democracy that means free media, free rights of expression and free education”.

The German MEP from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament was replying to a question at a joint press briefing along with the Bangladesh garment manufacturers and exporters’ association, BGMEA, leaders on Monday.

A four-member European Parliament delegation is visiting Dhaka as a “fact-finding mission” on the labour rights situation in Bangladesh. Linda McAvan, Nobert Neuser and Agnes Jongerius are the other members.

The short briefing followed an extensive discussion on the issue with the BGMEA leaders at a Dhaka hotel. BGMEA President M Siddiqur Rahman led the association team.

Lietz said they would brief media details about their visit and meetings with different interlocutors on Wednesday at the end of the mission.

Bangladesh enjoys duty-free market access of all of its export products including readymade clothes in the 28-countries bloc.

But the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2O13, the issue of workers safety and labour rights came to the fore.

“We should look into those matters together,” Lietz said, stressing on the right to collective bargaining as well as forming the trade union.

He said the EU business model “rely on strong labour union”.

“We believe that workers have the right to collective bargaining,” he said, adding that they have to be able to extend their own ability to build up their coalition.

The visiting MEPs are also expected to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, apart from their meetings with different government ministers.