Global Europe FTAs

19 September 2007
Article
The EU’s new strategy for a “Global Europe – competing in the World” links for the first time the EU’s external trade agenda with the necessity of becoming more competitive within Europe itself, meaning a threat to people within the EU, as well as to the lives and well being of peoples in the South.
In October 2006, Peter Mandelson the EU’s Trade Commissioner launched the EU’s new strategy for a “Global Europe – competing in the World”. This strategy looks in two directions: outward to the EU’s relations with other countries, particularly in the South and inwards to the kind to the Europe that is envisoned for the future. The inward policy clearly links for the first time the EU’s external trade agenda with the necessity of becoming more competitive within Europe itself. This will demand de-regulation of social and environmental standards or as Mandelson’s de-regulation agenda calls it - “an open and flexible approach to setting our rules” and implies a threat to people across the EU. The outward policy is equally threatening to the lives and well being of peoples in the South. Gone is the talk of making globalisation work for the world’s poorer countries. Instead Madelson promises simply “a sharper focus on market opening and stronger rules in new trade areas of economic importance to us”. Access to public services, industrial and public procurement markets of emerging economies is a central element of the new strategy. This aggessive push in favour of European Transnational corporations also extends also to demanding access to natural and energy resources. Besides it’s ongoing negotiations with the ACP countries for Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), the EU Trade Commission has also launched a round of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with regions - the Community of Andean Nations, Central America and ASEAN as well as with countries – Korea and India. See also: Tom Kucharz La competitividad justifica todo 19 September 2007