At the Asia Europe People’s Forum in Brussels we interviewed civil society activists from across Asia, to find out more about the damaging impacts of free trade agreements on the everyday lives of people in their countries.
The neoliberal FTAs pursued by the EU with Colombia and Peru threaten to exacerbate human rights abuses - which include killings of trade unionists, forced expropriations of indigenous people from land, and environmental destruction - for the sake of corporate profit.
The role of major supermarkets like Tesco in wiping out small retailers across Europe is well known. Now the giants have India in their sights. For a country in which small-scale retail employs 33 million people, what kind of impact will this have?
The Irish government announcement of a €34 billion Euro bailout, two years after the financial crisis first broke, is a reminder that little has been done to prevent it happening again just as the social costs are becoming ever more evident.
Ben Hayes, Praful Bidwai, Susan George, Walden Bello
29 September 2010
Ahead of the Asia Europe People's Forum (AEPF) which coincides with the official ASEM8 summit this year in Brussels, four TNI scholar-activists - Susan George, Praful Bidwai, Ben Hayes and Walden Bello - discuss some of the key struggles facing citizens from both regions.
The AEPF this year in Brussels brought together citizens for dialogue, solidarity and action, as a platform from which to oppose corporate-dominated, undemocratic and neoliberal responses to ongoing crises.
The language contained in agreements being negotiated by the EU through the WTO with their southern counterparts often deliberately diguises real political goals, obscuring the negative economic implications for those countries of the neoliberal agenda.
There are many important factors to consider when speaking broadly of China's role in Africa, and one should avoid falling into the trap of simplistic comparisons with historic African-European relations.
The EU's announced fund of 40 million Euros to support “non-profit partnerships” of water and sanitation utilities in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific is the latest evidence that the corporate push for water privatisation has been forced on to the back foot.
A clear and plain language guide to the EU's neoliberal investment regime, explaining both the social and environmental costs of prying open poor, vulnerable countries' economies, as well as outlining a number of ethical alternatives.
European Union subsidies earmarked for reducing air travel's contribution to climate change may help develop deadlier warplanes than those already found in the world's arsenals, Brussels officials have admitted.
"The banks are ours!" Public money was used to bail out the banks, and now they are lending back to the public at interest, while governments ignore the social and environmental crises that confront society. It is time to demand real solutions that will work not only for the sake of the economy but for the lives and conditions of people on whom it depends.