One week before the official Asia-Europe government meeting (ASEM) gathers in Milan, over 400 people from 42 countries in Europe and Asia gathered at the 10th Asia-Europe Peoples forum (AEPF) to present their demands and recommendations.
China and the EU are preparing to launch negotiations for a bilateral investment agreement at the next EU-China Summit this November. The proposed agreement would replace existing bilateral investment treaties between EU member states and China. This is the moment to develop a more balanced international investment framework that would protect the sovereign power of both parties.
European political leaders and the institutions of the European Union have reacted to the Euro crisis by creating conditional debt packages, in cooperation with the IMF (International Monetary Fund). Such “aid packages” typically prescribe severe austerity measures, similar to the structural adjustment programmes applied to many troubled developing countries, especially since the 1980s. The results have rarely been a success. 2
In November 2011, Brussels was the stage for a 'Week of Action' which looked to expose the threat of Bilateral Investment Treaties to democratic governance and public interest and to advocate for an Alternative Investment Regime.
Marica Frangakis, Nicos Poulantzas Institute, Athens
07 October 2011
Every story needs a narrative, an explanation of why things happened the way they did. In such a narrative lie the answers of how to avoid/correct similar developments in the future and how to propagate positive ones.
Between 20 and 21 September 2011, 40 ASEAN campaigners and experts met in Manila to share knowledge and experiences, articulate common strategies and discuss alternatives to the current investment regime.
One of the main lessons of the global economic crisis that has cast its shadow since 2008 is that this is the time to be diversifying trade away from over-reliance on EU markets. It is clear to all observers that the economic chaos engulfing the EU in its euro-zone heartlands shows no end in sight and the prospect of long- term stagnation is becoming ever more real.
Three years since the outbreak of the global financial crisis, the banks are back making mega-profits while the burden has clearly shifted to citizens and workers. However civil society action at European level could still make a difference in reining in the financial sector.
As Brussels bureaucrats and established political parties struggle to answer the current crisis caused by a faulty economic structure, right-wing nationalist parties have increasingly come to the fore in Europe, with Finland's recent election the last contribution to a worrying trend.
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 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?
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 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.
This year's Madrid summit marks a key milestone in the ongoing development of the Enlazando Alternativas network for both highlighting EU complicity with human rights and environmental abuses and highlighting the real alternatives offered by social movements of integration and development that respect the rights of people, communities, and protect the environment.
The major causes of the economic and social crises are now being even more blatantly promoted by the EU - both within the multilateral WTO negotiations and bilateral and bi-regional FTA/EPA negotiations - as the fundamental solutions.